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Reviews of Sarandon's Age Of Reason

AoRLPI wanted to review Sarandon's new LP Sarandon’s Age of Reason but feared I would not be able to hurdle the Anglophile heights. I mean, really—this band's new album came with the nearly simultaneous release of a special Age of Reason beer from Revolutions Brewing Company (http://www.revolutionsbrewing.co.uk/#/buy-beer/4544904169). But here goes; I will have a pint and try.
Sarandon’s Age of Reason is the agit-prop, underground version of a concept album. Short, sharp songs from the band alternate with and illuminate the ruminations of Big Trev, a man thoroughly disillusioned with the world yet harboring a secret wish to be accepted by it. The band's songs in response to Trev's rants match the big man's complaints with commentary, encouragement, and in some cases, gentle ribs. So when Trev talks about the discouragement of the discothèque, the band answers with "Do the Dance," a song that seems to further disparage the concept by reminding Trev that this is the "dance of death." Trev's path seems doomed, and when he laments that his name will go unremembered by history the band responds with "Dinosaur."
However, the story changes when Trev meets a girl and falls in love. Out of this comes the album's best track, "Piglet," which revels in the joys of being liked, an experience they call "a tonic for the wind and rain." Not sure I trust them as to whether this is love or a mocking of love, but a more infectious song is impossible to imagine. Trev, cured of his doldrums, in love, finds fame and acceptance. Sarandon offers some hope, but it is a guarded hope at best. As even Trev says, all you have to do is sign away your life and use your real name. Put yourself out there and stop pretending. Is this a swipe at all those poseurs? By the end of the album Trev is the life of the party, the man everyone wants to see. There is a lesson here, perhaps to accept oneself, but I refuse to look too deeply (lest this turn into a Genesis album).
Sarandon was formed in 2003 by guitarist Crayola, otherwise known as Simon Williams. Williams was a member of the underground scene in the UK in the ‘80s. The band’s official lineup is rounded out with Alan Brown (bass) and Tom Greenhalgh (drums), but Sarandon thrives on a diverse group of guest players. This fluid nature brings the band a varied and lively sound, yet their music always sounds like Sarandon—lightning fast guitars and machine-gun lyrics. They are somewhat like Gang of Four at 78 RPM. This makes for albums that are brisk but filling. I was a big fan of their second full length, Kill Twee Pop, which came out in 2008 (their first being the amazingly ambitious Completist's Diary in 2006). Speaking of old punks, Big Trev is voiced by The Shend, a former member of the ‘80s underground movement and most famously from The Cravats, who has gone on to a career in TV and movies. He perfectly personifies that middle-aged spread (physically and metaphorically) that the band is trying to capture on this album.
Sarandon’s Age of Reason is an enjoyable romp, though Big Trev's transformation is rather abrupt on so short an album. But that’s how life is sometimes. Besides, we need to practice more acceptance so we can all, as Big Trev says, become “POP-u-LAR.”
- Playback STL

The last of the Death To Trad Rock bands, Sarandon are the survivors of the discordant mid eighties UK scene that stretched post punk out to its logical conclusion.
A logical conclusion that sees this release being about Big Trev ‘a man frustrated by his lot’. It’s a bit like the Kinks but with guitars played like machine guns- or a Play For Today with a brilliant soundtrack with the shrapnel guitars defeating the rain of the everyday.
Big Trev maybe frustrated by his dour lot but Sarandon are anything but dour and their incendiary album is a quite brilliant piece of stripped down high IQ intelligence that is what pop music or at least alternative music should really sound like.
You want that shrapnel guitar, twanging bass and fractured drum beats with obtuse lyrics that combine surrealism with social commentary then you got them all here. Featuring Alan Brown from Big Flame on bass – the band even have one of the key players in the original scene in their line up.
They also have the Shend from the Cravats (Other guests on the album include Robert Lloyd (The Nightingales) and Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti) reading out a world weary story of modern life between the tracks in his best John Peel voice. It makes the whole experience uncannily like listening to the much missed Peel show in the late eighties- those sonorous tones somehow fitting perfectly with the high octane treble overload of the music.
Produced by Collapsed Lung’s Anthony Chapman (busy knob fiddler on top form here who has also worked with Collapsed Lung, Bis, Klaxxons, Ten Benson)
Like many of the later bands on the Death To Trad Rock frontline Sarandon have polished the form taking it to a jazzcore peak- dissonance and frantic energy combine in away that Badgwearer or Dawson were playing with in the great Glasgow scene that book ended the initial pre C86 explosion of pop noise war in the late eighties.
There are time changes and obtuse riffs that would make Captain Beefheart, circa ‘Lick My Decals’ album glow with an insane pride and the same sort of clattering rhythm section that was a hallmark of the scene of bands like the great Bogshed.
As one of the founding fathers of this high octane., life affirming racket when I was in the Membranes it makes me glow with a strange pride that the music is in such good hands in the 21st century. Sarandon are more than lonely flag bearers of the form, they have reinvented it for new century and this album is a fantastic reminder of the potent power of this kind of music that had oddly not dated atall.
Fuck me there are even some moments of pure pop on here with ‘Piglet’ that I demand they release as a single because it may just sneak in under the closed world of alternative radio and get itself some much deserved play.
Anyone who ever fell in love with the vicious high treble dream then I urge you to investigate Sarandon. Now.
- Louder Than War

Sarandon: a great, weird band releasing a weird album.  A concept album in which Big Trev, a cockney man not sure of his place in life, vents his frustrations, complains & generally grumbles humorously in between nearly every track, which act as an intro to each song (see batched tracks on list).  So really there are only 8 songs on here, more or less.  This is angular & punky, yet not fuzzy & distorted, like early Wire, Devo & The Fall, & even The Minutemen & Captain Beefheart at times.  Weird, spazzy, fun stuff, despite Big Trev’s grumbling.  This is their 2nd or 3rd album (their 1st was really a comp of old 7”s & eps).  Good stuff, this.  Quite unlike the regular fuzz n’ pop crowd on Slumberland, which is a refreshing change indeed. 
- KPCS Music

Opening with the ramshackle yet skankable clatter of Theme From The Age of Reason before turning into burbling, spoken word murmurings. There’s an enjoyably disparate style that’s both winningly abstract and humourous.
Big Trev the first tune to hang around is a spiky, scruffy indie-pop number like The Bluetones coveringThe Hives or vice versa. It’s after this track that we return to the grumpy monologue of earlier, slipping in and out like running between a mid-90s gig and a Stephen Berkoff play. This performance recurs across the entire LP giving it some sort of peculiar structure, as if we’re floating from the thoughts rattling away in our narrator’s head and then back out into the hectic insanity of the world around him.
Mustn’t Grumble begins like a very earlier outtake of trying to figure out what Los Campesinos!‘s You, Me, Dancing! might sound like before collapsing into a slobbery swagger with hastily spluttered lyrics about, as the liner notes aptly puts it, ‘acquaintances who can be bothersome’. Meanwhile the double-bill of Perky I & II has a really tasty White Lines-style bass line in its second half, whilst the sweet female vocals that pop up recall Beck‘s Beercan.
It’s followed by some ranting about the state of expensive bars, followed ironically by a track called Do The Dance that under other circumstances would perhaps be emblazoned with neon lights saying ‘The Single’. It has a sound like the clatter of horse hooves running through it and dry lyrics that unenthusiastically (intentionally) urge the listener to ‘Do the dance they dance at death.’
When the wah-wah accordian begins to announce the next lump of narration it feels somewhat laboured rather than part of an ever more apparent whole, though it does feature the best line on the record so far; ‘Have I made even a little tiny nick in existence? I mean, well, what mark have I actually left, well, I suppose my name’s in the list of all the people who use the library.’
Afterwards wry indie-pop track Dinosaur sung with a near-Toploader twang proves to the album’s weakest moment, a jazzy cacophony that is a somewhat lifeless assault of noise lacking a strong lyrical or melodic hook like the earlier tracks; though the bass line is nice and chunky. Following along after yet more narration is Piglet, dippily sweet with its ever repeated refrain of ‘I like you, I like you I do.’ Though the inclusion of the baby noises is somewhat unnerving! But then again aside from David Bowie‘s Magic Dance I can’t think of a track with baby noises in that actually works.
It’s around this point that the inclusion of the narration becomes really baffling, kind of like Outkast‘s obsession with including skits between songs, it just doesn’t always seem necessary to punctuate every track with these pieces of narrative that feel at times detrimental to the preceding or ensuing song. For example, Mackenzie is initially a musical punchline to the narration, and it zips by so fast that once you’re willing to give it the time of day (it’s kind of like a hi-speed Dodgy skiffle) the next bit of dialogue has started up and the way it heralds the album’s title track feels so similar to previous introductions that you’re not really sure which is the main thrust of the record. It’s almost like listening to two albums at once, playing one track off of the first, then one track off the other and so on.
Maybe I’m missing the point of the narration, but if it was as nestled into the journey of the songs as well as say Prince‘s The Rainbow Children then it would act as a complement to the music and vice versa, you’d welcome the progression of both pieces, but here they just feel so disparate that they end up rubbing one another up the wrong way. The penultimate title track is a lively conclusion with the band seemingly singing about themselves collectively in the third person!? A self-deprecating punky number before a crackling and jaunty re-tread called Return to the Theme from The Age of Reason played on piano, that almost seems to emphasise the somewhat befuddled tongue-in-cheek flavour of this record.
Sarandon are clearly a band having a lot of fun, their songs are quick dizzy rushes, but the record as a whole is uncertain and unsteady, like the drunkard who provides a bit of guest narration on track 13, it’s peppered with enjoyable moments but there’s a push and pull with how the record is organised that sometimes gives the listener a harsh slap in the chops just as they’re beginning to get comfy. Inconsistent, yes, but, at least always interesting.
- God Is In The TV

Given their strictly structured musical approach and habit of announcing their intentions in their album titles, Sarandon are the sort of band who seemed destined to make a concept album, even if they lack the studied seriousness that usually goes along with such endeavors. So it should come as no great surprise that the band's third album, Sarandon'sAge of Reason, is indeed a concept project, though the overriding theme is pretty flimsy -- the songs reflect the thoughts and ideals of a schlubby-sounding regular guy who pops up between songs to mutter about rare days when things go right, the glories of friendship, his disgust with overpriced pubs, how fashion ignores stocky guys, and that glorious day he brought cheese to school. The subtle comedy of the spoken passages stands in stark contrast to the actual music, in which Sarandon sound as edgy, frantic, and curiously precise as ever, with bassist Alan Brown and drummer Tom Greenhalgh holding the songs together with a rhythmic assault that could seemingly fly apart in a moment's notice while guitarist Crayola (aka Simon Williams) lays sharp, flailing chords over the top. Sarandon's gift is that they play music that seems to be exploding in a dozen directions at once on the surface, but careful examination reveals it was crafted with much careful thought and the bits fit together with the craftsmanship of a pocket watch. On Age of Reason, Sarandon split the difference between Wire, Primus, and Captain Beefheart, add a portion of lyrical absurdity in the grand tradition of British comedy, and end up with an album that's somehow endearing and witty no matter how hard these guys try to make the music off-putting; for all the sharp angles, Age of Reason doesn't stab so much as it nudges, and this aural poke in the ribs is pretty entertaining if you're up for it.
- Allmusic

Sprightly and spastic, cute n’ quirky, this charming outburst from UK’s Sarandon is a perky bundle o’ joy. Not a band to get bogged down in the weighty issues of the day, these guys play fun songs, when they feel like it, because it’s fun. A fine philosophy.
- Superfan

I must confess to not having heard Sarandon before so when ‘Age of Reason’ landed on my doorstep it was with interest that I read in the press release that the recording before me was a concept album about a character called Big Trev who’s not necessarily happy with his lot. Yes, an indie concept album – run for the hills!
Only joking, come back! This is actually rather good! The album takes the form of a narrative from protagonist Big Trev interlaced with songs. Trev is a pragmatic chap who knows he could have done better in his life and had more, but equally knows that it’s his own failings that stopped him. With a gruff cigarette laced voice (think Arthur Smith) there’s signs of bitterness as he sarcastically refers to boys in a nightclub chatting up the girls with their lovely clothes, ‘I can’t wear lovely clothes because I’m too big, they don’t make clothes like that in my size’ he grumbles. Sounding like he’s telling his story from a bar, Trev’s words seem to get more slurred as the record progresses. Musically ‘The Age Of Reason’ is loaded with clever but awkward songs featuring guitars and drums that crash, bang , clatter and gallop as lyrics are more chanted than sung. Thought the songs are as entertaining as the narrative, I’m not entirely convinced the two compliment each other , though as with the songs Trev’s life has a feeling of disorder; ‘you know those times…everything’s perfect, it happens so rarely that when it doesn’t you can’t believe it’s actually happening to you’.
The Age Of Reason’ is a fascinating album that, perhaps surprisingly, not only stands up to repeated listens but seems to deliver something new every time you listen to it. I love this album, it’s unusual, smart and brave, but we’ll leave the last word to Big Trev – ‘I try to go through life and not actually cause people grief’, what a guy! 8/10
- Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot

Indie concept albums? The two ideas sound irreconcilable but this actually works pretty well thanks to some sharp songwriting, some great narration by the legendary Shend (of Very Things fame) and the sort of jerky pop moves that a body makes when being resuscitated with a paramedic’s defibrillation paddles. Sarandon formed in 2003 but their roots date back to the 80s (band members were previously in Big Flame and the Colgates), in a scene spawned by the side of the C86 cassette that was all fast and spiky arrhythmic pop, and there’s plenty of that here.
In between Big Trev’s tale of his journey from zero to some form of hero (weirdly, he sounds just like John Peel’s old producer John Walters), there are songs – frenzied, clattering pop songs. But this isn’t opera: Big Trev’s narrative acts as a breather between the rhythmic mayhem of the songs and reinforces the mood. Written by The Shend himself, these tales are occasionally sad but usually blackly funny (“they don’t make clothes like that in my size”) and leave you agreeing with the band on the chorus of ‘Big Trev’: “we like Big Trev!” Meanwhile the music provides its own commentary, from the zig-zag wanderings of ‘Perky’ to the angular urgency of ‘Mustn’t Grumble’ and ‘Dinosaur’s almost funky, bass-propelled onslaught. In an era of downloading this lends itself more to hearing as a piece, but the football chant rhythms of ‘Piglet’ stand out, the optimistic atmosphere reflected in the superspeed indiepop.
It takes a couple of listens to adjust to the excitable rhythms and clanging guitars, and to fully understand the relationship between Big Trev and the songs around him, but once you do, it’s a huge buzz of quintessentially English pop that makes our small hero into a big deal.
- Sounds XP

Three years after the provocatively/appropriately titled LP Kill twee pop Sarandon are back with their new full lenght Age of reason, on Slumberland and Odd Box Records. It's a concept album, even. Yes, really. It made me frown a bit when I read that, but it's good. The 33 minute story is about Big Trev, a man unhappy with his achievements in life and determined to now make a change. The album consists of some tracks where the story is narrated, and then the actual songs of course. I appreciate the effort of the story, but for me it's mainly about the music. And that's good. Really pretty good.
I've always loved Alan's running bass, Crayola's adrenaline-driven hooky guitars and Tom's high energy slaps all over his drums. Those are all back again, but even more sophisticated, as far as music this punk gets sophisticated. If you like your music with a sharp edge and want your music to be for the heart, for the ears and even for the feet, you may not find many better albums to please you as much as this one right now.
- All That Ever Mattered

Sarandon might be the last of the truly wayward agit-noise-indie bands, collapsible DIY spiritual flame holders from mid-80s antiheroes Bogshed, the Membranes and bIG fLAME, one of the latter's original number now being in this band. They've recorded with the June Brides' Phil Wilson and their last album was called Kill Twee Pop! (exclamation mark a necessity, one feels) Their new album is called Sarandon's Age Of Reason, co-issued by Odd Box and US indiepop giant Slumberland (POBPAH, Crystal Stilts), and is a concept album about the titular Big Trev which features guest appearances by the Nightingales' Robert Lloyd and bedroom cassette label legend The Shend. A cask and bottled beer has been brewed in its honour. The advance taster? Scratchy razorwire guitars, pothole strewn rhythms, something approximating the right notes, all good things.
- Sweeping The Nation

Brilliant post-punk pop that pays homage to the best of 80s UK DIY. Short, angular tunes that combine the brusque drive of Big Flame and Bogshed with the spiky melodicism of June Brides and Josef K. "Sarandon’s Age Of Reason" tells the story of Big Trev, a man frustrated with his lot and determined to change his life, and is Sarandon's finest, most focussed record yet.
- Slumberland

Turns out I’ve not done enough reviews yet this week so I’m the lucky sucker who gets to review the Sarandon LP. I believe I’ve come into contact with these lads before and as I recall they create agitated post-punk with a hint of brit-pop tweeness. ‘Saradon’s Age Of Reason’ sees the lads tackling the tricky terrain of the concept album. This one comes complete with in between track narration from The Shend (The Cravats, The Very Things) who regales us with wisened and miserable commentary on modern life. He sounds like pissed up Alan Moore basically. It appears to be an everyman tale of modern British life but I’ve not got the time to listen to and decipher the entire concept. Musically the group are at their strongest with a growing sense of maturity becoming apparent with each new release. Primarily Sarandon deal in angular rock centred around precise top-heavy guitars and vocals ably backed by a solid rhythm section capable of generating all sorts of dynamic shapes.
For some reason the whole concept angle reminds me of the british quirk of the first few Genesis albums with a hint of Blur’s ‘Parklife’ but musically it’s more like Gang Of Four playing the hits of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band with the added angst of Chips For Poor. They’re at their best on tracks like ‘Mustn’t Grumble’ and ‘Perky I & II’ where their angular post-punk and cheeky lyrical phrasing brings to mind the genius of post-hardcore stuff like Joeyfat. It’s a strange record to make in 2011 but I’m sure it’ll be appreciated by many. 4/5
- Norman Records

Sarandon’s new album, Sarandon’s Age of Reason, is due out later this month on Odd Box (in the UK) and Slumberland (in the US.) A striking arrangement of wiry, agressive pop and spoken word pieces, Sarandon’s Age of Reason is a concept album about a frustrated everyman determined to make a change in his life. Big Trev, the album’s narrator, voiced by The Shend, speaks to the listener through a series of vignettes, laying out his plan. The Shend’s voice, coupled with the eerie carnivalesque sounds that score his spoken word pieces, gives the album a sinister undercurrent that builds in time with Trev’s growing dissatisfaction.
Musically, I’m struck by just how much some of the songs on Sarandon’s Age of Reason remind me of Minutemen’s jittery, dissonant California hardcore. Songs like “Feeling Happier” and “Do the Dance” wouldn’t feel too out of place on an album like Double Nickles on the Dime. Like Minutmen, Sarandon is a trio whose music is sonically aggressive (yet undeniably hooky), lyrically and conceptually sophisticated, and carried by strong, inventive basslines.
For me, an album like Sarandon’s Age of Reason is a strong reminder of how diverse indie pop is as a genre. Labels like Odd Box continue to release albums that challenge and reward listeners by pushing pop boundaries. Sarandon’s latest works both within and around pop conventions to score an unsettling story that stays with you long after the album’s last song has finished.
You can stream the track “Big Trev” and pre-order the album from Odd Box here (pre-order is not yet up, but will be soon.) The album will be available on CD, LP (colored vinyl), and as a digital download. Slumberland and Odd Box will each be using different artwork for the album sleeve. Revolutions Brewing Co. in West Yorkshire will be releasing a limited edition Age of Reason microbrew to accompany the album’s release. You can read more about Sarandon on their official site.
- Side Ponytail

March 29 street date. Before the usual description, I just want to state that I like this record. A lot. I don't say that very often. So there. Now back to our regular programming. SARANDON returns to the fray with nothing other than a concept album. 'Age Of Reason' tells the story of Big Trev, a man frustrated with his lot and determined to change his life. The album is narrated (beautifully!) by The Shend (of The Cravats and The Very Things) who plays the voice of the story's hero. Produced by the inimitable Anthony Chapman (Collapsed Lung, Bis, Klaxxons, Ten Benson), the album is a more mature take on the angular agit-pop of their previous outings (kind of a cross of Buzzcocks and Gang Of Four). The cheese-wire treble of the guitars remains, the bass thuds and booms and the drums clatter at light speed, but the songs contained in Sarandon's 'Age Of Reason' are more carefully crafted and arranged. There are songs to make you shout and songs to make you sing. There are even songs to make you dance. Vinyl includes a digital download coupon. Please buy this. Restore my faith in humanity.
- FAB Distribution

Thing of the Day today is the new album that is Sarandon’s story of Big Trev, and their frantic agit pop that more than deserves to feature on the roll call…
One of those frantic records, all scratchy guitar in an angular hurry to get somewhere in a bluster of urgency. All scratchy and poppy (in a very unpoppy kind of way) and standing up like The Fall but they could fall off at anytime. Short songs, short and sharp and full of all the dreams and aspirations that eventually get knocked out, like they have for Trev here - for this is the story of Big Trev (with narrated bits linking the songs together, narrated by The Shend, he of The Cravats). And it it worth mentioning the sound of The Cravats here, that and the recent notions of what some were calling Wrong Pop. Yes, Wrong Pop is a better description, not unpoppy, just wrong pop, and wrong pop, as you know, is very right…
Cheese-wire treble of a guitar sound, angular agit-rock and rhythm section frantically clunking along as they declare that they rather like Big Trev. Big Trev mustn’t grumble even though things wind him up, mobile phones when you’re going to the toilet or about to eat and people calling for no reason and buses turning up on time and on the rare occasion it does happen you can’t believe that it actually happened to you. There go Sarandon, stopping and starting and shambling away like urgent buses staying on time in the busy traffic. Do the dance, the dance, the dance of death… all art brutal and in a hurry and Trev’s name is in the list of names of people who use the library, but he probably won’t feature on the roll call of people on earth who were actually of importance, when the time comes for that roll call to be called and things come to an end on this planet – “there you go, I am nothing” declares Big Trev.  Sarandon can get funky, funky in a post-punk agit pop scratchy guitar kind of way, sometimes the story gets quite moving, and they are catchy and tunes going somewhere and not just strings of consciousness. They’re going to be popular, popular since the first time they… alright then, maybe not popular household names or on the tips of the tongues of anyone other than those of us who still miss John Peel. 
We do like this urgent rushing about, tunes going to all corners at once, and we’re all gonna get what we want… holidays in places other than Spain, just follow Trev’s directions to the letter, nail hit firmly and squarely on the head, sign on the dotted line, initial it there, don’t ask questions, this is a serious album now… 
“They wanted to make exciting, snappy, itchy, uncontrollable pop music and so they do”, so says their biog. Their biography is right, they do, if you really need to find who this classic English post-punk new-wave no-wave wrong pop band, I could tell you more but any fool can regurgitate an on-line biog and quickly ‘remember’ to namedrop Bogshed and the Crayola connection or Big Flame, but you can hit the link and explore for yourselves of course - they’re worth it, this is memorably good.. 
- The Organ


Reviews of Spike Milligan's Tape Recorder

Other People's RecordsThere was a time (it was 1984) when every other indie single sounded as crashingly inventive, chaotic and irresistible as the Membranes' "Spike Milligan's Tape Recorder". Hard to imagine now, but everywhere you looked there was a future Ron Johnson band striking up gangly chords and frenetically annoying the neighbours - as Rhodri Marsden once said (to us!), "you should be able to bottle that feeling that you got, the excitement of a new Big Flame record when you were about 16...".A quarter of a century on, bite-sized anti-twee angular post-post-punkers Sarandon pay tribute to every such single, as well as to the Membranes, by coupling their 2009 versh of "SMTR" with the original on a Slumberland 7" replete with Vinyl Drip (erstwhile Membranes/Bogshed label)-referencing sleeve. They do this despite the certain knowledge that it is not possible to improve on the Membranes' shrieking, Fall-happy, still mastered-from-vinyl original: a truly magnanimous act of evangelism. Sarandon's take is still (as you can see) in the top fifty singles released this year: from the opening Gedge / Salowka-speed strums, it refashions the original as a shorter, blunter, neater, ride, clanging with a need for speed.
- In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times

Truly some of the freshest and funniest indie angst-y rock happening right now is coming from an odd little band out of the UK called Sarandon. Named after the actress? Due to unsettled memories of her quivering voice and half undressed body in the Rocky Horror Picture Show? One can only speculate. But listen, do, to their ferocious rendering of The Membranes‘ post punk classic (yes dears, there is such a thing now), “Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder.” This is, I’m afraid, about as hip as you can possibly get with guitars and drums in 2009. Repeated listens may cause spontaneous ironic mustaches. What’s the drummer eating for breakfast, I wonder? Excellent track. - SUPERFAN

Putting two versions of the same song on a 7” is the way Slumberland have chosen to mark the release of John Robb’s Death To Trad Rock book, and it’s a good lead in. Producing a spiky piece of lo fi agit pop is how Sarandon take on the old Membranes song. It evokes early rattly Wedding Present with its hundred mile an hour guitar and shonky effervescence. The Membranes version out strips this, mainly down to the freaky, psychobilly howl of the vocals. The tune buzzes with menace, backing up the murky psychosis present. The old guys win, by a knockout. - russell's music reviews

Flash back... England, 1984 A dark and ghostly land littered with the bodies of Thatcher's unwanted The stench was bad and the view was bleak Out of the gloom came a thunderous cacophony The Blackpool Tower shook to its foundations Could this be the Devil's own band? Spike Milligan's Tape Recorder The sound of dissent, the sound of agrievement, the sound of fun The sound of The Membranes Unsung heroes of the Post-Punk North John Robb, Mark Tilton, and Coofy Sid A trio of badass post-punkers who made one hell of a beautiful racket  Forward to... England, 2009 A dark and ghostly land littered with the bodies of Brown's unneeded The stench is bad and the view is bleak Out of the gloom comes a thunderous cacophony Canary Wharf shakes to its foundations Has the Devil returned with a brand new band? Spike Milligan's Tape Recorder The sound of dissent, the sound of agrievement, the sound of fun The sound of Sarandon Unsung heroes of the Post-Post-Post-Everything Tom Greenhalgh, Alan Brown, Crayola A trio of badass post-everythings who make one hell of a beautiful racket   Slumberland Records presents Spike Milligan's Tape Recorder to those who want to feel the history then and the history now. - midheaven

In 1984, post-punk heroes, The Membranes, recorded a raucous ode to chaos, “Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder.” Fifteen years later, destruction-bent prodigies, Sarandon, decide to cover the classic, adding a tighter, more cohesive sound – but keeping the crashing cacophony in tact. This seems like an unlikely release for Slumberland, but there’s something oddly lovable about both bands’ circa-1980 delinquent attitude. Should you decide to trade in your cardigan for a safety-pinned leather jacket, this 7” would be the perfect soundtrack to such an identity crisis.  - we heart music

 

Reviews of Other People's Records


Other People's RecordsSarandon frontman Crayola has made an important discovery: the vast majority of music being written, recorded and purchased right now is of rather under whelming quality. Luckily for us, rather than just accepting the status quo, he and his bandmates have channelled their disillusionment into a rather catchy slice of 2 minute spiky guitar pop aceness. Hooray! - MAPS

 

Boot tapping wig flipping brilliance from the greatest under achievers currently pulling faces and screwing up people’s record listening tastes. Sarandon are past masters at being - well brilliant, both responsible for perfecting the art of producing skewed lost masters as well as equally proving their unequalled adeptness at their wilful disregard for playing the pop game, for the last few years they’ve busied themselves in sublime ad hoc fashion occasionally unleashing the odd indie nugget or two. ’other people’s records’ is an EP boasting three more day-glo ditties from the demented desk of the Sarandon gang and marks the debut release for the newly augmented Little Car imprint. Featuring guest vocals from the Pocketbooks Emma Hall ’for the now’ is a crippled pop gem hoodwinked straight out of the arse pocket of the TV Personalities, all at once dislocated and damaged and nailed onto a harmony laced skewiff canvas this slice of vibrantly wired pop is jiggered and jarred by a deliciously schizo stop start dynamics and best filed we feel somewhere near those essential Beatnik Filmstars and Magoo types. Flip the disc for ’other people’s records’ - the title track no less - to these ears sounding like some face slapping echo from the vibrantly volatile late 70’s punk / new wave scene, this beauty blisters and broods between momentary flashes of stinging agitation and an ever so brief though ear lobe stealing shudder of wiring cacophony. That said we’re more than fond of the parting ’vertical slum’ - an old Swell Maps cover done as a tribute of sorts to the late Epic Soundtracks, a brazen and blistered slab of snot nosed agit pop that to these ears sounds not unlike Spizz Energy lamping several shades out of Jilted John with the Blockheads refereeing the melee. Absolutely essential.
- Losing Today

Jerky, angular pop music that most refreshingly doesn’t sound like Oxes, American Football, Foals or any other band that everybody still mystifyingly wants to sound like. Sarandon have more of a grip on their history than that, and sound like they’re just enjoying themselves rather than worrying about their haircuts/tuning/tapping technique/etc. Why, it’s every bit the combination of mid-period Beatnik Filmstars and Big Flame. And if you know what that means, you’ll know whether you’ll like it or not…
- Diskant

Sarandon released their latest slab of 7″ vinyl on Christmas day (via new label Little Car Records). It’s another cracking piece of pop music. The ‘A’ side ‘Searching For The Now’ is typical Sarandon with added chorus singing from Emma Pocketbook which gives it a distinctly 60s feel - all of this is punctuated by the jerky rhythms that have made Sarandon pretty much essential listening for anyone with an indiepop bone in their bodies these past few years.
‘Other People’s Records’ confusingly kicks off the B side and it’s another gem that tells the tale of bewilderment as other people’s records sell so well, while Sarandon’s records seem to not have this magic power. I am with Sarandon on this. The band are criminally under-rated and if there was any justice they’d be selling a lot more records and all that gubbins. As it is, they’re a beautiful little secret that is worth telling - so go tell people how about how FAB Sarandon are.
The EP ends with a cover of Swell Maps (another sadly forgotten band) ‘Vertical Slum’ and it’s just perfect for the Sarandon treatment - abrasive guitars, rushing drums and semi shouted vocals mean the song flashes past as fast as a speeding little car.
- Lostmusic

Sarandon are back with a new 7" on new label Little Car Records. They've now got Alan Brown from Big Flame in the band on bass and vox duties (don't you love the word vox). Searching For The Now is a 3 track 7" of sprightly jerky timeless sounding indie pop. Brian has told me to mention Death by Milkfloat. There I said it. Apparently their last recorded like the Milkfloat. He's not heard this and I've not heard the Milkfloat so I'm not sure how much use that is. I do like the jerkyness of this. It's almost making me spasm in my chair and anything that makes me move at all (be it involuntary or not) has to be a good thing. The female vocals in the chorus are a nice move. They soften it up or not...... it's like sweating onions off. You need to slow cook 'em otherwise they're too crunchy. You get my drift? There's a class tune on the flipside all about how other people's records sell and how everyone has no taste in music anymore. Which I totally relate to as none of you buy my record (mind you I've not made one for ages so maybe that's why?... it still hurts...)
- Norman Records

Reviews of Every Conversation

Every ConversationThere are a couple of songs that spring to mind when remiscing about The June Brides and I am sure that Every Conversation is one of those at the top of most peoples list. It certainly was for one person in Japan who named their record label after the song.
Going one step further the said label has managed to release a 7" single with two covers of the song including one by The June Brides frontman Phil Wilson and the other by those twee pop killers Sarandon.
The original track was a trumpet lead folkish stomp through London's early 1980's indie pop stomping ground.Here both acts strip the song back to it's raw roots before heading off in opposite and very different directions. Wilson goes down the acoustic path giving the song a gentle swagger whilst Sarandon do what they do best and create a short, sharp and loud shock to the system. These are two great versions of one of the songs that influenced modern day indie pop so track it down as it's pretty limited!
- indie-mp3

the tenth release on japanese label every conversation is a brand new single from phil wilson from the june brides which is apt as the label took their name from his song. on one side is phil wilson's 2008 version of the classic indie pop jangler 'every conversation' whilst on the flip is sarandon's cover of the same track - they jerk it to within an inch of it's life and make it sound like it should have been released on ron johnson records in the late 80's.
- Rough Trade

Reviews of Kill Twee Pop!


Kill Twee Pop!New shit from one of the worst. I can’t think of another band that brings the rage out in me.
- Dusted Magazine

#99 In the TOP 100 RECORDS OF THE DECADE.
Very few moments in the past few years have filled me with such schadenfreude towards my fellow critics than when I discovered this recording, which was not even covered by Pitchfork. All the talk about The Pains of Being Pure at Heart revitalizing Slumberland Records focused on how surprisingly advanced that band sounded for a twee label. Few recognized a band named after a respected but oft-forgotten actress that had a name less suitable than the Pains for typecasting. A year before someone picked up the Pains excellent debut, Sarandon had cleared the air of everything we thought we knew about urban indie pop. No more simplistic and sparse than Beat Happening, but a lot more of a punch to the gut than most anything Calvin Johnson's followers have ever produced, this song murdered the escapist element of a subculture within a subculture, and served as something of a reality check for a class of individuals lucky enough not to be getting blown up in another continent. Youth in London allows for more polemics than they are in Brooklyn, and while it can often produce the same kind of navel-gazing, but here we see where the courage in ones convictions only produces good things for the world.
- Tynan's Anger

Like the "Joe's Record" single before it (the A-side of which appears here), this record shows the band breaking their self-imposed mold of keeping songs short and even branching out their sound a bit - and doing a damn fine job with both. The songs are a touch longer (though mostly remaining in the two minute range, with only one barely passing the three minute mark), but the Minutemen, Big Flame and Gang Of Four influences are still readily apparent. In fact, like the Minutemen's later work, there's a fair amount of melody visible amongst the dissonance, skronky jangle and spastic rhythms. There are even moments of poignancy in the lyrics that I didn't notice before. I was a bit wary of the band's leap from EP to LP and how it would affect their songs, but they made the transition perfectly with this most impressive debut album! MTQ=11/12
- Indiepages

You know those “what if” scenarios people like to come up with? What if Buddy Holly were still alive and recording music? What if Biz Markie had never recorded “Alone Again”? What if a hardcore punk band turned to indie rock? Well, I could spend a long time arguing the hypothetical repercussions of the first two scenarios, but I can provide a short, concrete example of what the third might sound like by introducing you to Sarandon, a trio from South London.
I tell you these guys really kick out the jams on their newest album Kill Twee Pop!. They have the chaotic energy that a hardcore rock band has with frenzied guitar playing and plenty of drum fills, but they rely more on catchy riffs and solid song structures than just going crazy on their instruments. And replace wild screaming with more low key yet still highly invigorated vocals that are reminiscent of The Ramones or other classic punk rock bands of that era. You really get a great feel for their style once the album’s title track starts off the listening experience. Once that song got into gear, everything I was going to say about Sarandon in this post popped into my head all at once and I knew I was going to love the rest of the album.

One particular aspect of Kill Twee Pop! that really sticks out is the quick and precise musicianship, which I briefly touched on above. As I also mentioned, Sarandon’s music has a sort of speedy madcap style to it, but everything is played so cleanly that it sounds incredibly clean and coherent. This is a stark contrast to bands like Melt Banana or The Locust where everything tends to meld into a wall of sonic fury. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, that’s what I love best about those two bands, but it’s nice to have groups like Sarandon come in and mix things up. Even so, they do seem to indulge in moments of seemingly more improvised noise making at the very beginning of “Very Flexible” and towards the end of “Massive Haircut” along the lines of their more cacophonous sibling bands.
Of all the great instrumentation, I particularly enjoy the heavy, dead-on drumming on this album. I always love a good drummer and Tom Greenhalgh manages to stray away from the typical rock percussion to come up with some great, catchy beats that really add some oomph to the tracks. “Remember Mavis?” stands above the rest as an incredible track for outstanding drumming. Even if you aren’t playing the song loud enough to have your floorboards shake, you still feel vibrations going up through your legs just because of how much the drums are quaking up the album at that point.

Kill Twee Pop! is an album that I cannot recommend highly enough for those of you who like high energy rock music or hardcore punk. Sarandon is one of those bands that crosses boundaries and is hard to classify within one single genre, but all the better in this case; it gives more people with more diverse musical tastes something to agree on. At least I hope so. I bet Sarandon hopes so as well.
- Radio Krud

May they continue to skronk on. No song over 3 minutes yet so much to offer. Awe inspiring.
- Textile Sounds

OK, I understand.
Sarandon doesn't interest anybody. What a shame.
Kill Twee Pop is a title that promises much and Kill Twee Pop is an album which keeps it's promises over 26 short minutes in 12 songs splashed with humour and vigour.
Sarandon are indispensable pop slaggers.
- Tatapoum

Since its formation in 2003, English trio Sarandon has consisted of singer/guitarist Crayola and a rotating cast of bassists and drummers. After recording a whopping five EPs, Crayola finally found a stable rhythm section to craft a proper full-length with. It’s a good one, too: bassist Alan Brown used to play in Big Flame, whose jumpy, jangly indie-pop is a major template for Sarandon’s sound, and drummer Tom Greenhalgh navigates the songs’ relentless stop-start syncopations with heretofore unmatched speed and dexterity. Kill Twee Pop! starts on a bad note with the atonal title track (talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!), but the other 11 songs definitely compensate. These caffeinated, catchy tunes tell terse tales of loneliness, jealousy and embarrassment. There’s the man whose ex-girlfriend’s life improves after she leaves him, much to his chagrin (“Remember Mavis?”), the woman who covertly hits on her son’s friends (“Very Flexible”), the man who finds a film of himself getting beaten up by skinheads on YouTube (“Good Working Practice”), etc. Fans of aggressive yet distortion-free punk-pop (Minutemen, Fire Engines, Futureheads) just might have a new favorite band!
- Popmatters

This UK outfit is completely under the radar, but that does not mean that they shouldn’t be noticed. Upon checking out their myspace page you will see that they have lots of releases out, yet it took this new release for us to finally take notice. This album sounds like a more punk version of Love As All. With raspy vocals, angular guitars, and signature 1.5 minute songs they manage to make highly original and high energy songs that are so catchy that you’ll sing along to them all day long.
- Crashin' In

And we should also mention here Sarandon's "Kill Twee Pop!" album, also on Slumberland, even if it's been out long enough for many of you to have grabbed already. For Sarandon are simply one of the best British bands out there at the moment, both live and on record, and this their debut album proper (after the 28-track "Completist's Library" whetted appetites) merely proves it, both including and building on the finery of last year's "Joe's Record" 45 as they move towards (marginally) longer, but still infinitely spiky and sprightly, numbers. It's hard to describe their sound without (a) confirming that it ain't twee pop, and (b) reeling off a list of names of our favourite 80s awkward squad bands plus perhaps 90s' outsiders like the Yummy Fur and second-phase Beatnik Filmstars, so we'll restrict ourselves to saying that if you liked any one or more of the bands on the superb "Commercially Unfriendly" compilation, this will probably be one of the most exciting records you trip across this year.
- In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times

First things first - no band fronted by a man who goes by the name Crayola has any right to be good. In these days of identikit indie bands, where the slightest variation on the theme is heralded as groundbreaking, such a moniker could easily be the sign of a 'zany frontman'. I believe marketers call this a Unique Selling Point. Modern indie is dependent on such a thing. The irony is that Sarandon will never grace any top tens, have their backs slapped at awards shows or record an album with Mark Ronson. Because, quite frankly, they are above all that. Their post-punk sound may share a lineage with Josef K, The Fire Engines etc, but whereas their influences ran out of steam as soon as Franz Ferdinand came along, Sarandon make it sound fresh and exciting.
- The Clash Magazine

Back in the 1980s when the world was young, John Peel would frequently play music that was a cavalcade of noise: discordant, declamatory, ear stabbing, tautly rhythmic and often uncomfortable. Eventually, NME issued a cassette called C86, at least half of which was made up of music like this but for some strange reason became synonymous evermore with whiny and wan anorak-pop. That was unfair on bands like The Mackenzies, The Shrubs, Big Flame and Bogshed. But you can’t keep a fierce sound down and now Sarandon are making music that gets certain people misty-eyed at the thought of a new Wolfhounds. It helps that Crayola, one of the troika at the heart of Sarandon, knows his shronk-pop history and is out to restore the spikiness and anger that ‘C86’ once possessed, beginning with track 1, side 1. ‘Kill Twee Pop!’ slaps down the presumptions and pretentions of the polka dotters and bowlcutters by sending up the whole ‘so uncool we’re cool’ crowd.
There follows another 11 quick songs with abrupt endings, only one of which dares to break the three minute mark. My favourites are ‘The Discotheque is My Lover’, a colourful riot of scratchy pop with shades of the Fire Engines, and the tender but twisted ‘Joe’s Record’ but what all these songs have are edgy, stabbing, stop-start post-punk rhythms that distort the idea of pop about 180 degrees. There’s much wit too, with the band smart-mouthing everything from happy slapping gang cultures (‘Good Working Practice’) to internet relationships (‘Mike’s Dollar’) and the foolish sport of drunk dialling (‘Welcome’). Both for restoring the reputation of a certain strand of 80s indiepop and in making refreshingly askew new music with a wicked sense of humour, Sarandon ought to be applauded.
- Artman

The British have a remarkable knack for social satire not found in the music tradition of any other (at least Western) country. With a band name presumably lifted from Susan and choosing the most cringe-worthy of song titles for their record, Sarandon have sold themselves short. Across the 12 minutely pointed tracks of second full-length Kill Twee Pop! we find at least enough wit and cutting commentary to assail any fears as to the decency of the band. Lacking the commercial viability of the new Britpop’s better-known purveyors, Sarandon will always be in the second tier – a place well-suited to their lo-fi sound. However, with more bollocks than the movement’s worst products (The View, The Wombats, The Kooks, The Fratellis, or any of the other cruddy 'The' bands), Sarandon prove a valuable contributor to their nation’s fine tradition of gritty punk and scathing lampooning as lead today by notables Art Brut, Future of the Left and The Futureheads.

The cornerstone of this kind of music is the gift of making the mundane interesting, or at least funny. If they have this, they will succeed. Sarandon make the ‘comment’ their raison d’être and in doing so with a rare consistency, Kill Twee Pop! offers many a rare pleasure in return. Furthermore, each song tackles its chosen target with enough panache to be seldom boring. The topics targeted include hipsterdom (‘Kill Twee Pop!’), the awkwardness of being a musician in “the scene” (‘Welcome’, ‘Joe’s Record’, ‘Massive Haircut’) and infuriating acquaintances (‘Lippy’, ‘Mike’s Dollar’). ‘Massive Haircut’ is a self-consciously silly take on the sometimes-ridiculous lengths musicians will go to to be different. After describing some of his more errant fashion choices, singer Crayola concedes “I try to be cool, I act like a fool/deep down I wish you would stop me/but you just laugh behind my back at me and my massive haircut”. It’s funny, but underpinned by a rare honesty.

Even the grave and difficult subject of ‘growing up’ is done with humour and insight (‘Mark’, ‘Remember Mavis?’). A dedication of sorts to Crayola’s older brother, ‘Mark’ reflects implicitly on the potentially straining differences of personality between siblings: “my brother had a phone put in his room at 13 and called downstairs to ask Mum for a cup of tea… my brother got his first got job at the age of 16/bought a suit and tie and overnight became 33”. These lines, which almost make up the entire song, echo perfectly the dissatisfaction felt by Crayola in the fraternal bond. The song ends with a mention of their father’s death and the change this effected on ‘Mark’. It’s moving stuff and, set to the album-standard early 80s rhythmic punk backbeat, unexpectedly good.

If Sarandon reach their market, they should do well; Kill Twee Pop! is outlandish, concise and exuberant enough to attract many lovers of rhythmically and lyrically sharp rock. Obviously, though, like most music with such a clearly defined modus operandi, they aren’t for everyone. And anyone with even a passing crush on the… well, twee delights of outright sunny pop will probably hate this. Of course, the truth is that hating ‘twee pop’, or any other genre, is hating the reification of expression found therein, yet in pursuing their own course with such fervour Sarandon invite the same polemic attitudes towards themselves. In so abrasively titling their latest album, however, Sarandon reveal a facet of the musical/pop-cultural landscape and what must be a frustrating dilemma between either pleasing all or pursuing one vision and not coming across hackneyed and bland as a result. Amazingly, however, Sarandon succeed in doing all three: there are moments of cuteness, innovation and sass all present on Kill Twee Pop!. Even with the Windows Vista, eBay and YouTube references, Sarandon are crustily authentic enough to talk of ‘‘A’ badges’, hotpants and Mavis getting a job at Barclays. With Franz Ferdinand wallowing in ever-growing self-consciousness and the Arctic Monkeys suffering from a distinct lack of consistency and verve, Sarandon could be just what the doctor ordered for the new BritPop (and that’s not even considering the shite).
- Wireless Bollinger

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the band Sarandon is the actress, Susan Sarandon. The two, however, likely have nothing in common. The first thing that comes to mind when seeing the title of their latest album, Kill Twee Pop, is that Sarandon must really dislike twee. The first think that comes to mind when listening to said album is that Sarandon’s music is ingrained in twee-punk and has some stark similarities to bands like Tullycraft and Boyracer.

It’s true, Sarandon can be found on such twee-friendly labels like Slumberland and Happy Happy Birthday To Me. “Kill Twee Pop!” opens the album on an awkwardly high note. Their music is jumpy and dancy for being on the verge of punk; I can hear further similarities to artists like The Faintest Ideas, whose songs are so short they almost never top 3 minutes and are more often located in the one- to one-and-a-half minute mark.
“Lippy” is the undeniable album high point with its catchy, pointed guitar riffs, filled with rapid staccato notes and memorable vocal hooks. Still, there are plenty of other notable tunes that make up Kill Twee Pop. Songs like “Remember Mavis?” have a lo-fi element to them apparent via the production value. More high points can be found in “Joe’s Record”, “Good Working Practice” and “Mike’s Dollar”; all three are just as upbeat and catchy as “Lippy”.
Kill Twee Pop is definitely and album to add to your collection and Sarandon is definitely a band to keep your eye on…
- Fensepost


One of the most anticipated LPs of the year (well, by me at least) has finally landed. It's due for release in the USA on Slumberland Records on April 22nd (I can't see a UK release mentioned anywhere) on 10" blue vinyl and CD.
The title that Sarandon have chosen for their début LP is provocative. It's called 'Kill Twee Pop!'. That's going to polarise opinion, before most people have even heard a note. It will have some of current indiepop fans on the defensive from the off. Whereas, it instantly gets this old codgers seal of approval. All before hearing a note from the LP as well. We're a judgemental lot, aren't we? As the band try and explain the title of the record is not aimed against indiepop per se - the press release that accompanies this CD states Sarandon are on a mission to save indie from wetness, knee jerk posturing and careless cardigan wearing and this is a fine manifesto by me. You only need to trace the routes of the word 'twee' in this indiepop context and you can see it was never meant to be worn as a badge of honour. But I digress - this is supposed to be a review of a record.

After the compilation 'The Completist's Library' which collected together 5 earlier Sarandon EPs and was released in 2006 - this is the first 'proper' LP from Sarandon - and Crayola and his cohorts (Tom Greenhalgh - drums and Alan Brown - Bass) have made something a little bit special. It's packed full of tunes, jerky riffs, jagged guitars, great lyrics and all round excellence. This record is the essence what great guitar pop is all about. Often when music has an abrasive edge, tunes are usually a forgotten ingredient - And Sarandon are acutely aware of this - so 'Kill Twee Pop' comes packed to the gills with hummable tunes. Every song on 'Kill Twee Pop!' is meshed together from memorable melodies and hook-tastic riffs.

The LP starts with the song 'Kill Twee Pop!' amid scatter gun drums and an incessant guitar riff. They all propel this song along and I am soon to be found nodding furiously in appreciation. I'd never of thought it possible - Sarandon even break the 3 minute barrier for the first time on 'Remember Mavis?' - a song, again, propelled by some furious drums and those ever-present jagged guitars. 'The Discotheque Is My Lover' is one of the highlights of the LP - a slightly slower paced song that manages to maintain the energy levels that the faster songs exude.

This really is one of the finest LPs I have heard in quite some time. Sure I can hear the influence of bands like Big Flame (Alan Brown was once a member, folks), The Minutemen and Fire Engines - but the band are really a lot more than mere copyists. They've honed this mid 80s indiepop sound into something as compelling as it is brilliant. I dare anyone to play this record and not start to move. There are a fistful songs on here that should be packing indiepop dance floors out. It really is that good.
- indie-mp3

Man, is it great to have Slumberland Records back around (not that they really went anywhere, but they were sorta dormant for a bit there in the public eye). I am really excited to be working with them as a fan of the jangle and twee and...what's this? KILL Twee Pop? Haha. The irony probably wasn't lost on Slumberland, nor was the insane post-pop that Sarandon cranks out here. It's jittery, it's spastic, it has mind-melting drums, and it's also catchy as all hell. This record is pretty damned unique, a real sleeper.
- Team Clermont

Post-punk that's not new and certainly not updated—yeah, Sarandon are rowdier than Tokyo Police Club or Futureheads, but they’re certainly not as spazzy as American models like Ex-Models or whoever’s playing the Smell this week. But what they lack in caffeinated abandon, Sarandon makes up in having dynamite hooks—Kill Twee Pop is like an XTC album played by bonkers Ritalin unachievers. Shades of Wire’s Pink Flag, the Minutemen’s Paranoid Time EP and those early Fire Engines singles mean these guys will get excited about just about anything, even though they have the Wire artfuck disconnect down to an unsexy science: the first word on the album is “geometry,” the second song is about drinking to escape boredom, there’s a song about chavs rolling some guy and posting it on YouTube, plus various stories about town drunks and whores and housewives, all told in about five lines or less. “Mike’s Dollar” has something to do with computers and eBay and meeting someone online and even has an unfortunate pun (“I installed Vista Windows/I might just throw you through them, you know”). Makes sense, ’cause hanging out and getting into fights on the computer is the new millennial version of, uh, hanging out and getting into fights. Or maybe not considering most of these guys were playing in bands around the time of C86 and are way too old to say any of this without an enormous grin. And maybe that’s what makes it so fun?
- Christopher R. Weingarten | Paper Thin Walls

It's so hard to gauge an album named Kill Twee Pop! It could be hardcore; it could be an ironic twee pop album title. To my (welcome) surprise Sarandon is neither twee pop nor hardcore.

Kill Twee Pop! is the sophomore album from English trio Sarandon. The band plays a mix of post-punk and indie rock.
In some ways Sarandon wears their influences on their sleeves. From the first notes of the first song, unimaginatively named "Kill Twee Pop!", the listener can tell Sarandon is heavily influenced by Gang of Four, Pere Ubu, and The Fall. Their guitars are sloppy and often dissonant. The vocals are a mix between talked and yelped with very little melody behind them. The bass is heavy and extremely rhythmic. The drums are disjointed and chaotic.

Although all of those elements may sound like a bad thing, the truth is Sarandon has a certain "je ne sais pas". It could be their sense of urgency or their addicting energy, but Sarandon's Kill Twee Pop! is more than an enjoyable listen, it might be one of the best records of the year.
Rating: 9.2/10
- Surviving the Golden Age

Irony in rock 'n' roll is a tough feat to pull off but Sarandon makes it happen.

The description on LastFM is pretty succinct: "Scratchy itchy guitars, rumbling bass and tumbling drums." I can't remember a band that made me immediately smile since the first time I heard/saw Minus the Bear or when I was a kid and bought a Gruppo Sportivo EP on a personal dare. Sarandon sounds like one of the perfect late '70s/early '80s post-punk bands that blazed away on mix tapes and in the oh-so-hip clubs. A little bit Bongos, a little bit Gang of Four, and just a tiny bit of the Fall.

Short, catchy songs that are memorable is what pop is all about (apparently 2:42 makes the perfect song) and Sarandon pulls them off brilliantly. Their songs are funny and quirky. I won't spend the entire review quoting lyrics, but here is one of my favorites from "Massive Haircut": "I'll grow a mustache that won't suit me/ then shave all my body completely/ tattoo eyebrows across my forehead/ so I look shocked when you meet me/ I try to be cool, I act like a fool/ deep down I wish you would stop me/ but you just laugh behind my back/ at me and my massive haircut." Kind of sad and mean at the same time, but we all know it is true.

Irony in rock 'n' roll is a tough feat to pull off but Sarandon makes it happen with titles like "The Discotecheque is my lover" "massive haircut" and "good working practice." I don't know if the band kills twee pop as its title professes, but it goes a long way toward putting some muscle in the genre known as pop.

The album is a brisk listen. With only one song over the three-minute mark, the album clocks in at just about a half hour. So make sure when you put it on to hit the "repeat" button.
- Jim Dunn | playback:stl

"I love you Mr Disposable popstar"

The title track sounds ridiculously like the Minutemen - the scratchy funk guitar, Watt’s thunderous bass spiel and some flexible George like drumming. It differs only in the vocals which get a bit closer to the tune than D Boon ever did. They don’t spend all there time in Pedro, but head towards influences close to home (they are British but this is released on a US label) Stump, Bogshed and they certainly can get A Witness, short sharp stiletto stabs of angularity - it jerks so spasmodically it makes Futureheads and their ilk seem like lazy lounge lizard Lotharios. It’s a strange mixture of the mordant humour of the English bands I’ve mentioned and the muscular musical punch of the Minutemen. The manifesto is to kill twee pop and rid the world of cardigan wearing fops, this is not a political record, there’s no righteous anger - what there is impeccable playing; they are tight, the classic trio as well drilled as the Red Arrows.
They are like a cloud of petrol vapour just waiting for the spark to ignite them. ‘Good Working Practice’ worries at you like a terrier with a slipper and unusually for them it has an almost tuneful guitar break in the middle which adds some contrast. I enjoy listening to this but then Double Nickel… remains one of my favourite records of all time. Anyone who takes D Boon & Co as a blueprint is a few points ahead in my book, only this is a book I’ve read many times before. ‘Mike’s Dollar’ and ‘Remember Mavis?’ are no Project Mersh but they do hint that they may be able to hotwire something more original. Still 12 songs in 26 minutes, itchy and scratchy guitars - give me this over fey singer songwriters trying to be Bob Dylan any day.
- Americana UK

Sarandon are back with their first official CD album on Slumberland. In case you've just joined us, this incredibly savvy 3 piece are the main torchbearers for a sound that alledgedly died in 1988 with the last EP from Death by Milkfloat. Just dozens of incredibly taut, caustic & brief agit pop ditties yelled out by a man named after a brand of wax crayon, with shards of caustic rapid fire guitar abuse that makes Bogshed sound like Sunn 0))) and some of the most primal, thrilling tub thumping heard in years. Another couople of bands who are possibly a huge influence are Stump, Big Flame, Dawson & Fire Engines. But there's a vitality & freshness here. Jerky 'n' catchy as hell, they're also in rude health on ' Kill Twee Pop !', a chunky, primitive pop record for the kind of person who feeels indie died with John peel (which sometimes I think it may have done judging by some of the gash released these days!) So brilliantly excecuted, I'd be chasing this for AOTW had we not fallen in love with the Harmony Korine soundtrack. So if you fancy some no frills old skool delights, check this great album, on the aforementioned legendary US imprint!
- Norman Records

Large doses of spastic garage rock and slips of new wave punk swish around and flop about through Kill Twee Pop, the latest album from the UK’s rock trio Sarandon, released on Slumberland Records. At times the band’s tunes sound like covers of classic rock songs that hark back to an earlier punk rock age, when The Rolling Stones were at their peak and rock bands were sprouting on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean due the profusion of electric guitar models and multi-tracking systems made possible by guitarist Les Paul. Sarandon’s songs have an offbeat simpatico that would fit right in with the music featured in England’s screwball comedy The Young Ones, which acquired a cult following in the early to mid-80s. Sarandon are another band that is either too late to be fashionable or they have rediscovered rock music that is worth excavating and reliving.

Courting avant punk stylistics reminiscent of Devo on tracks like the title track “Kill Twee Pop,” “Mark,“ and “Good Working Practice,” Sarandon show that they feel quite comfortably grinding their chords into weird angles and spastic rhythmic forms. Melodic patterns with geysers flowing of treble rock and post new wave punk pile in through “The Discotheque is My Love” and “Mike’s Dollar,” while songs like “Welcome” and “Massive Haircut” have an retro rock intonation that prunes the guitar cuts into moving in tempo with the rippling drumbeats displaying thumping movements reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones. The slinky rhythms played by drummer Tom Greenhalgh and bassist Alan Brown for “The Completist’s Library” are massaging as the guitar patterns and vocals of frontman Crayola achieve a dreamy simmer, but the album has a proliferation of spastic wiggling movements and garage rock textures comparable to Maps & Atlases racking up a rushing momentum through “Very Flexible” and bluntly edged drizzles through “Lippy.”
The album is a motley bunch showing specks of old school punk and retro rock postures that the band dusted off and put into tracks like “Joe’s Record” and “Remember Mavis.” The band’s lyrics take on the voice of a gossip columnist or a group of buddies who share gossip in a local pub like in “Remember Mavis” when Crayola sings, “Remember Mavis? / She grew up / She even got her life on track / Now she works in Barclays Bank instead of lying on her back / It was cold when I caught the bus / I saw Mavis at the back / It's been a year since we broke up and she got the semi detached… And now our Mavis is well off / I'd love to punch her stupid face.” But the lyrics for “Mark” may actually strike a chord with listeners: “My brother had a phone / Put in his room at 13 and called downstairs to ask mum for a cup of tea / My brother spent at least 10 years without a word for me / Installed Sky-TV that only he could see / My brother got his first job at the age of 16 / Bought a suit and a tie and overnight became 33 / My brother's spent at least 10 years working steadily / But it took our dad's death to make him friends with me.”

Sarandon have released five EPs previous to Kill Twee Pop, but it is Kill Twee Pop that feels most like a campaign ad to return to the avant punk rock intonations of the late 70’s and early 80’s. The trio have excavated piles of this stuff and dusted off classic rock crystals that are deep in the collective consciousness of society. Kill Twee Pop is a concrete edifice emblematic of spastic garage rock and post new wave punk, a synthesis that Sarandon feel relates to their lives.
- Absolute Punk

Since their formation by guitarist Crayola in 2003, Sarandon has been on a mission to save indie from wetness, knee-jerk twee posturing, and careless cardigan wearing. This potent group of post-punk tacticians takes its cues from the rough angularity beloved by bands on labels like Ron Johnson and Slampt, and Sarandon is the proud parent of a string of five 7-inch EPs (and one compilation thereof) fairly bursting with short, sharp tunes, wiry riff-mad guitars, spastic drumming, and terse-yet-clever lyrics. Trimming all musical and lyrical fat, Sarandon cram more ideas and passion into 1:30 than many bands do across a whole record.

Some points of comparison include Big Flame, The Minutemen, Bogshed, Fire Engines, and The Fall, and though Sarandon share musical DNA with those groups, they've forged their own path and unique sound. Crayola marries naggingly catchy tunes to corruscating blasts of guitar mayhem, combining the punchy, driving tunes with surprisingly memorable melodies and smart lyrics. It's pop, but possibly the angriest and most aggressive pop ever heard.
Kill Twee Pop! is the first fruit of a line-up consisting of Crayola, Tom Greenhalgh on drums, and ex-Big Flame/Great Leap Forward legend Alan Brown on bass. Brown and Greenhalgh are an incredibly tight and powerful rhythm section, providing Crayola with such a sure foundation that he's now letting the songs stretch out a bit--one tune even breaking the three-minute barrier--which is fitting as this is the first proper Sarandon album, and it shows them at their itchy, spiky, angular, aggressive, enthusiastic best.

From the chugging "Welcome" to the blues-by-way-of-The Birthday Party "The Completist's Library" to the insanely catchy "Mike's Dollar" and the croon-tastic "The Discotheque Is My Lover," this album is packed with great tunes, recalling the best of '80s post-punk and bringing it bang up-to-date with passion, humor and wit. Kill Twee Pop! is a call-to-arms for those tired of paint-by-the-numbers indie, a ration of passion in these cynical times, an antidote to your massive haircut, a soundtrack for your next dance party, an updated cubist pop manifesto.
- Midheaven Mailorder

Kill Twee Pop? Seems a strange thing to say when your signed to a label responsible for some of the twee'est moment in twee history. Perhaps they're working on it from the inside and soon Slumberland will be a twee free zone. Either way this is a record you won't forget in a hurry not least because it comes on a lovely ten inch slab of blue vinyl which looks ever so pretty (but not twee) rotating on the turntable. Slumberland say this is the bands debut album but I'm almost sure there was an album a couple of years ago. Much like The Fall they seem to change band members on a fairly frequent basis. The album starts as it means to go on with the angst fueled title track "Kill Twee Pop" the geezer shouts in a demented fashion. I have to say it sounds great cranked up as loud as your system will allow although I got the impression my neighbours disagree when they started banging on the walls. Oh well, perhaps they like twee pop!
- Burning World

Reviews of Joe's Record

Joe's RecordSarandon, inventors of the 7 track 7" and compilers of 28 track compilations, remain woefully unacclaimed.
The latest release, "joe's record" (only 3 songs!?!) came out a few months ago is dedicated to me, or almost (joke!).
Sarandon are here, as always, the number one pop group in cutting, dry, sharp, fast, songs and also one of the funniest and most impertinent groups on the pop planet.
If you want proof try, "your song would be much longer at 33" ("joe's Record"), or, "you need a condom for your language" (the linguist).
They make me so happy!
- Tatapoum

Sarandon is essentially a revivalist band, and this 7" continues their general trend of combining absolutely catchy post-punk with brief, slightly sarcastic lyrics. But oh god - the songs! They're catchier than any Franz Ferdinand song, and they get their influences right by actually including not just the dancy beats - they've got the scrappy guitar, and the essential basslines (played by Alan of post-punk legends bIG fLAME). Best of all, this band is prolific, with over 30 released songs in just a few years of existence (they fit 7 on their first 7"). While this 7" is brief, it is extremely worthwhile. This is one of the few times when there is not a single weak song, or moment - period. So while Sarandon might be late in the post-punk revival, they are probably the greatest of the new wave.
- Melody and Velocity

Sarandon followed a pattern for their first four 7"s (which were later compiled on "The Completist's Library"), which consisted of seven bursts of spastic trebly pop, a la Big Flame, Wire and the Minutemen, with songs ranging in length from short to very short. For their fifth single, though, they show that they can also excel at writing songs longer than 75 seconds, with the nearly three-minute long "Through With Humour" on the b-side being one of my favorites of theirs to date (check out that great organ sound!). But despite the break from tradition, the band still have the same sound, and the same clever and humorous lyrics, as well!
- Indiepages

"Joe's Record", a 3-track 7" from slumberland on glorious mottled pinkish vinyl - is a charismatic *splurge* of energy, a stop-start post-peel tour de force of spikiness from a band who have even now got to co-opt free frenchster and ex-keaton rhodri marsden to guest on a bit of keyboard. many people who have been the subject of popular music - the lady in red, whoever "ruby" is, even nelson mandela - would be entitled to have been disappointed with the rubbishness of the tune bearing their name, but joe, whoever he may be, must be happy as a pig in swill city that his record is completely storming.
- In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times

I've had Sarandon's new 7" single on the record player for more than a few weeks now, but I consistently forgotten to mention it here. Better late than never, I say. Joe's Record is three excellent tracks of erratic, jangling post-punk no doubt inspired by roughly half of that one tape some magazine released back in 1986. Not surprising though, as the band's fronted by xQPwRtz's Crayola and now they've even got Alan Brown of bIG fLAME playing bass. The Joe's Record 7" is out now on Slumberland Records. It's on bright pink vinyl and limited to just 600 copies, just in case you needed another reason as to why you should own it immediately.
- Skatterbrain

Smart, grown-up white pfunk, alliterative with the jazz threat approach of the Minutemen or Big Flame. Curiously enough, Sarandon’s new bass player is Alan Brown of Big Flame; I suppose those left in this world band together; regardless, this continues in the quality and chutzpah this band has become known for – issue songs, position-taking, tightly wound interplay. And that’s just fine. Pink vinyl.
- Dusted Magazine

My documented love affair with Slumberland Records continues with Sarandon, the South London pop, post-pop, post-punk noise outfit and not the American actress. Led by sole remaining founding member Crayola, Sarandon are irrepressibly catchy with slightly bizarre lyrics. They're simple and possibly quite mad, to use the British meaning of the word, which explains why my seven year old says "The Linguist" makes her feel like wiggling.
- 3hive

Sarandon are back with a pink vinyl 7" on Slumberland. I believe they've undergone a slight line up change but it's essentially the same thing you're getting here as on previous goodness. It's called 'Joe's Record' and it's a tribute to ex bass player Joe who used to buy records from us before he found something more important to do (it will happen to all of you at some point). Lovely jerky catchy indie rock which reminds me of earlier Young Knives at moments. I can see this appealing to the same sort of folks. Proper good music.
- Norman Records

I was perplexed by the cover of this record until i realised that it is a picture of joe, the former sarandon bass player now replaced by alan brown (formerly of bIG fLAME).
sarandon fans should be sweating about this, the band's 5th single. gone is the 2 minute rule for song lengths, but all 3 songs are a sharp shock of cool ultra-gifted taste.
only sarandon could make these songs work.
- Smash Hits Productions

As Tom indicated a few days back, Sarandon have a new record out on Slumberland Records. 'Joe's Record' is the bands first release since The Completist Library (I think!) compilation CD was released last year. After watching the band at a Lost Music gig a few weeks ago - I knew this 7" would be a treat. And a treat it is. There are three songs on the single and the lead song is actually called 'Joe's Record' and it's a fine piece of indie pop. It's all punchy drums, stop starts and catchy guitars. A fine edition to the Sarandon catalogue. Next up is 'The Linguist' which Tom has already posted for download. It's another top tune. It starts slowly and then kicks off with Sarandons trademark guitar sound - think Big Flame, The Wolfhounds or even The Minutemen!

The 'B' side 'Through with Humour' is a slight departure for Sarandon, it's a longer song for a start. Those that know their Sarandon are well aware that their songs don't usually venture much over 2 minutes - but this one must be over 3 minutes. It also features an organ. Which brings a whole new feel to the bands sound. I have played this song the most and I find myself a little hypnotised by the whirling organ. Although, guitar fans, shouldn't be unhappy as they still are prominent throughout. I'd advise anyone to get their hands on this fine little record. It's on nice pink vinyl too. Cracking stuff.
- indie-mp3

When listening to a new EP that brings to mind the late 80's offerings of Bucky Pope & Company, it's difficult not to appreciate the trash-funk underpinnings that are present. To be honest, I am completely unfamiliar with this band but will tell what little I have found. Sarandon is primarily the music project of an artist named Crayola that was formed around 2003 in South London, UK. There have been some recent lineup changes which have resulted in a title for the new 3 track single Joe's Record. Like my wife, ex-bassist Joe seems to have given up the comforts of the UK in exchange for our wonderful currency and high fructose corn syrup. All quips aside, this is an excellent single that is now available on the band's new label Slumberland Records (SlumberSpace) There is also a Sarandon Myspace page for you to visit and listen to more music.
- Milk Milk Lemonade

Reviews of The Completist's Library

The Completist's LibraryThis is a 28-track, four-single, collection of Britain's finest scratchy, abrasive indie-pop trio (circa C86, and not the Bob Stanley/Alan McGee twee/jangly/crap side of that comp either): formed in late 2003, listen to Wolfhounds, Bogshed, June Brides, Josef K, Big Flame, Shrubs, A Witness... "and they sound like none of the above," boasts the press release.
Ridiculous! They sound exactly like all the above, and that's why I fucking love them so.
- Everett True | Plan B

if, having marvelled at the best peel tribute yet, you wondered whether anyone was making music like that now, then angular minimalist trio sarandon provide the answer. um, it's "yes".
"the completist's library" is their story so far, a tale told over 4 seven-track 7"s. an average track length of 1 minute 22, by my calculations, makes it the second most economical lp this year, behind narcosis' "romance" (1 minute 11, since you ask). put simply, this means more tunes for your money: a honeyed aggregation of bIG*fLAME, the yummy fur and the keatons, with fallish bass, weddoes-ish guitars and, latterly, some majorly ace staccato trumpet work.
as someone who was there and knows, the reason that many of us formed indie pop bands in the late 80s was that it was far easier to teach yourself david gedge's chord sequences than, say, greg o'keeffe's tumultuous fretspanking. not only do sarandon have a mastery of the hard arts of post-beefheart c86ism, but they seem to be getting better and better at it: the most recent ep, "the june bride" (which features cameos from phil wilson and fLAME's alan brown) is the most striking yet.
all we need now is someone to take on the more blissed-out experimental mantle of mackenzies, jackdaw with crowbar etc...
- In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times

Even by punk standards, Sarandon's tactic of cramming twenty-eight songs into thirty-eight minutes is some achievement. Granted, some of these tracks deserve to be heard in more extended form but that would be to the detriment of Sarandon's objective of unleashing short, sharp shocks of melodic punk. This isn't purely an exercise in no-frills musicianship either; frontman Crayola's guitar work rubs shoulders with Josef K in terms of finger-cramping dexterity. Their best songs (such as 'Birds', 'Health' and 'Manky') revel in a maddening celebration of conciseness whilst 'A Hat' seems to be borrowing the same "toytown" guitar techniques which were formerly the reserve of early Half Man Half Biscuit records. Overall, it's a simple record and an awful lot of fun.
- Leonard's Lair

Having already written a pretty long review for the last mini-album of mini-song maestros Sarandon it only make sense that I write a short review for their twenty eight strong compilation, a collection of their last four mini-albums. It whips through with a dozen different flavours of art punk tinted indie jangle, almost every song being listenable and hinting at greatness and at least a quarter realising that greatness. Though tongue-in-cheek throughout, it retains its edge in the nimble guitarwork and sparks of songwriting inspiration. More songs than any individual band deserves, Sarandon seem to chuck 'em out for fun.
- Maps Magazine

A mention must be made about the wicked SARANDON comp LP, 'The Completist's Library'. The bass player has threatened us with an incredibly painful death even though we've given all the singles a glowing write up if we don't say something. He's right of course, we have no excuse whatsoever, for this is 28 wonderful jerky buzzsaw guitar pop tracks, every one a cracker, some even more irresistible than others. Brief, catchy, dinky, perfectly formed songs that make your heart skip & yr head nod, your mouth break into a grin at the sheer majesty of the pop genius this C86 inspired 3 piece create. If you just dig 7"s then buy them all individually but you may want the vinyl album on Wrath for there's only 100 in the world. There's also a CD for the digital dudes. Either way, these boys are up there with the best. Top brit indie perfection.
- Norman Records

Small yet perfectly formed, your average Sarandon track resembles a bonsai version of the epic pop song. So their debut gig at London's legendary Guided Missile night saw them perform nine numbers, clocking in at just 13 minutes long. In keeping with their small-is-beautiful ethos, nothing on The Completist's Library exceeds two minutes.
Comprising 28 tracks, TCL compiles all of the four mini albums the trio have released over the last couple of years. Fronted by the experienced but wilfully amateurish guitarist and vocalist Crayola, one Simon Williams who has appeared on over 100 albums by various groups and brought out 25 solo long-players by himself, Sarandon are currently signed to Wrath, "the designer label that fashion forget." Fellow best-kept secrets of the UK music scene.
Joe Morris on bass and Simon Poole on drums complete the line-up, although vocal contributions by Big Flame's Alan Brown and Phil Wilson of The June Brides feature too. Beginning with the word association of 'Pin Up', "pin up blonde girls, pin up dark girls, pin up nice girls, pin up hard girls", the album continues in spasmodic fashion. At times an indie take on The Banana Splits, at others what appears a UK tribute to US masters of the short, sharp shock of a single, Whirlwind Heat, Sarandon also could quite conceivably have lived a previous life as the Little Shop of Horrors house band during the title's incarnation as an off-Broadway stage musical.

Packed fully of catchy lyrics and witty lines, 'Moo''s "You're a cow, I wonder what you're doing now" a case in point, Sarandon make your head nod and funny bone tickle simultaneously. Quite a feat to achieve in tracks that are over before you know it. Well, well, well: less really is more. (4.5/5)
- UK-Fusion

SARANDON might be construed as being in some kind of a hurry. Indeed, 28 tracks in 38 minutes seems to say something about someone's attention span. Mine perhaps?The 28 have been cropped by the Wrath conglomerate from four previous releases on different labels. In the process they have formed a nicely dense gravitational field of minimalist postpunk pop that holds together very well indeed. Rattling it might be. Falling apart? Impossible.
Juddering, skittering, scratching noises can be taken as read, I think. And so too a rather scintillating cut and paste approach to time signatures and tempos. The brilliant and the totally wrecked will dance deliriously. The rest of us will twitch appreciatively and occasionally lose our bearings.

The longest track on the CD, "bored", is an epic one minute 59 and probably has one verse deliberately too many as a revenge joke against the critics. Lyrically the plan is to stab the ideas in, whip them out and leave before the wounds start to hurt. Skimming the lyric sheets (part of a very nice little bundle in my CD case) I spot glints of wisdom leering out at me: "we love to kick our friends"; "the common man lies down to die"; "he left the car and took the moped"; "I was a health geek for just a week". Listening incredulously I can only just keep up as the words fly past. What a buzz.
On balance this album should definitely not work. So thank goodness it isn’t balanced and three cheers for the fact that it does work. It's bonkers, quirky, intelligent and very rewarding. And if you think, for even a minute, that it's getting stuck in a rut of northern miserabilty, a great chod of delight comes flailing out of SARANDON's creative cupboard of love and slaps you across the forehead. "don’t say no" is a case in point – it brims over with disco stomping mini-skirts, dubious sex, white boys with afros and a cool horn section.

I think that if you are inclined to the eccentric side of life, appreciate tightly controlled instrumental aggression and have the knack of making fine cocktails from lemon juice and raw spirit, then SARANDON should be on your list of great discoveries in 2006.
I would write more, but it would be a betrayal of SARANDON's elegant terseness. Just buy it. 8/10
- Whisperin and Hollerin

Sarandon are a band. Sarandon are a band that I know very little about. Sarandon have just releases a 28 track compilation of their four seven tracks EPs. The longest song on the whole CD clocks in 1 second shy of 2 minutes. Short, sharp and punchy.

Indeed, Short, Sharp and Punchy is the best way I could describe the gorgeous sound that Sarandon make. They remind me of many bands. But the sound they make is uniquely their own. I could say they remind me of bands like Wire and Mission of Burma. But that would only be a fraction of the story. They also borrow from the louder elements of the mid/late 80s indie sound.

They profess to be influenced by bands like Wolfhounds, Big Flame and Josef K (amongst others). Not bands I am over familiar with. I have heard all three but I would never cast myself as a 'big' fan of the bands. Sarandon have made me want to dig a little deeper into these bands and their musical legacy. That's always a good thing. Just like when I started buying Stooges and Velvets records after I first heard The Jesus and Mary Chain. As you get older the opportunity to delve back into some lost musical past reduces as you exhaust the rich seam of old gems.
So, what of this LP. Well. It's like a breath of fresh air. The songs just leap out at you. This is like no frills guitar pop music. Unlike many bands influenced by the early 80s new wave bands, Sarandon seem pretension free. Which is always a relief. They just slap down sub 2 minute song after sub 2 miniute song and move on. This LP is ferecious in it's approach. Melodies are wrung out in super fast time. And the guitars are abrasive. Like they are being played with shards of broken glass. Or something. The bass and drums remind me of the way Big Black used to churn out gut wrenching songs. I like.

So, not sure how I had not heard of Sarandon until recently. A welcome find.
- Lostmusic

You may have noticed by now that us lot at Sandman are generally quite fond of Wrath and all the records they generously throw in our direction. Wrath don’t do things by halves. They don’t do ‘demos’ or ‘rough versions’ they do collections of seven inch singles, and albums that easily stand up to anything the major labels try to fob off on us.
And then they also do this. They collect together four seven-inch seven-track EPs by Sarandon, and stick them all on one glorious CD, just for us completists. Because the people behind Wrath are record-collecting geeks just like us.
It’s not been too long since I reviewed the last Sarandon release, The June Bride, for this very magazine. It was great then, it makes even more sense in the context of the other three EPs that preceded it. Whereas the June Bride was their C86 EP, the first in the series, The Miniest Album veers far closer to the angular, herky indie of Gang Of Four, except all the songs are under 2minutes long.

In fact, the longest song on this album is 1min 59seconds. Short by anyone’s standards really. But it’s not done for the novelty factor. It’s done because Sarandon aren’t interested in the crap that surrounds a good song, but the key ingredients behind it. That’s why each one of these songs is an irresistible blast of jangling, clattering post-punk. No waiting around for the chorus here. Thee whole song is a chorus.
- Sandman

'the completist's library' on wrath records of leeds is a 28 track lp compiling the four 7-track mini albums released by sarandon thus far. yes, you heard that right - 28 tracks and it's still just short of the 35 minute mark. influenced by the 80s indie sounds of big flame, fire engines, gang of four etc sarandon excel in spidery riffs, crooked hooks and off kilter melodies and very short songs.
- Rough Trade

It's quite remarkable that when people discuss the C86 tape and era they associate it with "twee" or "jangle pop". Bands who claim to be influenced by that era make music in the same vein. Whilst I, and you will not be surprised to hear otherwise, agree that there is nothing at all wrong with that I am amazed that most people overlook the "noise merchants" (for the want of better words) who contributed more tracks than the so called jangle bands to said tape. These include The Shrubs, A Witness and Big Flame all of whom recorded for the excellent Ron Johnson label.
These bands made some great records as did the likes of The Wolfhounds and Bogshed who sounded like nothing else on earth. John Peel, when confronted with band's music for the first time, described them as "shambling" a term now ironically used to describe the jangle pop bands from that period such as The Pastels and The Shop Assistants.
For some reason bands today have not really been influenced by the likes of the aforementioned acts although that changes with this release from Sarandon who sound like they could have been written about 20 years ago with the bands named above.

Lets quickly get the album into perspective. It's a compilation of their four 7" EP's released so far. It has 28 tracks, lasts for little under 35 minutes with the longest effort being slightly under two minutes. Indivdually Sarandon do not sound like any of the bands previously mentioned. However if you mix them all together, with a bit of post punk thrown in, you may get some idea of what they sound like. The band make further references to the C86 era and these not soley based on their sound either. Previous EPs were titled The Big Flame and The June Bride with vocal appearances by Alan Brown (Big Flame) and Phil Wilson (June Brides).

The songs here, complete with bitter & twisted taunting vocals, pour forward with even the shortest ones packing a bigger punch than some of the other songs/albums I have been reviewing recently. It's an audio assault as well as being pure punk pop fun - get it!
- indiemp3

Fiery hot guitars and death by cab bass line streak through this 28 track, 35-minute masterpiece. Honestly it’s as good as that, a genius mixing of Sarandon’s previous 4 mini albums onto one mental slice of pop punk perfection.
It's not the fact that most of these tracks clock in at around the 90 second mark that grabs your attention, many bands try this way of producing bona fide punk records and end up disrespectfully pissing on the Ramones fire. It’s the fact you almost get the feeling there are studio stories behind each one of Sarandon’s tunes, tales of bigger and perhaps brighter songs that were perhaps not finished or cut to shreds to create the music they have become. Each song feels as if it has something missing, and maybe that something was pure and clean, but they didn’t fucking like it so they tore it to bits and created an infinitely more ugly, but wholly more passionate baby.

One of my Studio mixing mentors has a great philosophy with mixing; chuck everything up in the air and see how it lands, That’s your finished piece of art. Sarandon have done just this; All the good, the bad and the ugly have been thrown to the music gods. What has landed is bloody amazing.
- Heathen Angel

A compilation of Sarandons previous selection of four 7 track mini-albums, this 28 song collection weighs in at a nimble 35 minutes. Like Manchester, Leeds has been a bastion of scratchy punk / anti-pop music and “The Completist’s Library” is well stocked with rumbling Fall meets Buzzcocks shortcuts and truncated nuggets of epic kitchen sink musings. By their own admission Crayola and his band Sarandon have a “short attention span", but that means that each snippety segment is coloured with interesting rhythms and off kilter new wave shimmies. Brutal at times this collection is full of intelligent ideas and plenty of memorable moments.
- Manchester Music

Okay, so Sarandon formed in late 2003 and since then have released four seven track mini-albums. This album, as you may already have guessed, is a compilation of all 28 of those tracks. As you may also have already guessed, Sarandon songs tend to be on the short side.

It’s clear throughout that the members of Sarandon remember the C86 movement clearly. Indeed, The June Brides and Big Flame (the latter were actually on the C86 tape) are name checked in the titles of two of the mini-albums that make up The Completist’s Library and guest vocals are provided by members of both bands too.

The band’s sound is tinny, a little twee, a bit clunky and utterly infectious. Partly this is down to the lyrics (particularly Politique and Health) and partly it can be attributed to Sarandon’s knack of cutting all the fat out of their songs, leaving just the hooky parts and meaning that none of their songs ever break the two minute mark.

So, if you crave a taste of the indie of yesteryear or just have a penchant for quirky but good songs then look no further than this, you’ll love it.
- Indigo Flow

T: Sarandon continue the make the cluttered racket they assaulted our ears with on "The Feminist Third", but somehow it's even more manic on the new album. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that, despite everything, their songs hold tremendous appeal. Maybe it's the brevity of the tunes, most of which are over before you can even think about criticising them. They are rather an enigmatic - and contradictory - bunch, given that their music is both extremely intelligent and utterly stupid. I love 'em, but I'd imagine there's a lot of people out there who won't! I think you've really got to love music to like this band.

N: Once described as the eternal Peel Session. Surely there is no better description of this band. The songs here come like something premature, leaving a lasting stain. Was that what you were trying to say?
T: Um...yes. 8/10
- Atomic Duster

the ramones raised the punk-pop bar by reducing the three minute pop song to a two minute blast and...they played it twice as fast.

sarandon have now trumped up with 90 second songs and...they play them even faster.

but, here's the thing, sarandon have done this very neat, very inspired and hugely entertaining thing by cutting out nothing except the crap. if you applied the same ruthless creative logic to james blunt you'd have an album that was reduced to "er...blip", so you can see that it's a process that's as attractive as it is fun.

now, the 28 tracks here are a distillation of al four of sarandon's previous seven track mini albums and "the completist's library" clocks in around the 35 minute mark. every track is perfect, let's face it, there's not a lot that can go wrong in 90 seconds or less (yes, i remember the blunt analogy, thank you) and as long as you like your punk, your pop, your falling down the stairs style drums, manic yelping vox and shit hot guitar, you really can't go wrong with sarandon.
- Unpeeled

In our write up of the Sarandon's The June Bride - our first meeting with them but the last of the four mini albums which come together to make up The Completist's Library - we wanted to make to make it very clear that yes, these are short songs but no, that's not the point of this album. While it's always going to be the first thing we mention it's just a shorthand for who Sarandon are. Like Godspeed You! Black Emperor are a band with the long songs and Low are the band with the slow songs. It's their difference but it's not quite what defines them.

However, it does mean that on this twenty eight track album Sarandon manage to take up no more than one CD and still have half an hour of spare space on the end. I don't suppose it makes much difference, really, in the long run, how many songs are on an album. Some bands have quality control and some don't, it's the same with anything. We really need to get to the nuts and bolts of what makes a song good before you can leave your prejudices at the door. Some songs have dozens of instruments and sound tinny, some have two and sound full. Some albums are eight tracks long but lose you after the second, some leave you clamouring for more after track fifteen. Format is irrelevant, right? Right.
So, with that weight off our shoulders, Sarandon still have to actually convince us they can carry off this parred down songwriting. Well, actually, that's not strictly true. The June Bride was a wonderful record. So good was it that the band immediately instilled within us a sense of trust. When we got our grubby little mitts on The Completist's Library we had all but no doubt in our mind that it was going to be good. It was going to be hook laden, jerky, fun, sarcastic, adventurous and worthwhile. It was just a case of how, exactly, you go about being all those things with any sort of consistency over twenty eight tracks without being boring.

Maybe that's where the song length does become a factor. If these songs were each twice as long we might get a bit antsy to utilse the skip button. Instead, Sarandon know how much of a song needs to be there to get the point across. How many choruses, how many times through the hook, how many tempo changes before they call it a day. What's so impressive, though, is that the answer isn't just "one of each" as it would be for so many of their peers. You listen to an average song on the radio, first verse, first chorus and you know not just that song but every song on that artist's album and what their next album is liable to sound like. Sarandon delight in throwing banana skins into even these tight bursts of song. They avoid ABA songwriting where they can and mix it up with instrumentation, timbre and delivery. They strut and slide, they're jagged and smooth, they chirp and they coo. With so much music on offer it's amazing they manage so much variation without, well, collapsing.

That's not to say you should pick up The Completist's Library expecting all of music under one roof. This is essentially an art-punk record, start to finish. Angular and completely devoid of computer effects it's still possible to level the criticism that Sarandon don't venture too far from their chosen field. However, they cover enough ground with more than enough aplomb to happily dodge such accusations for the course of this album. It's a playful and mischievous body of work and while we're not saying you should pick it up expecting a cornucopia of sound, we are certainly saying you should pick it up.

In one line, funky, sly, spiky and packed to the rafters with inventive shots of post punk, a triple distilled album of genius.
- No, really

Reviews of The June Bride

The June BrideSarandon contine to push the 7" format to the limit with this 7 track(!) mini album. Great stuff, very C86 in outlook and sounds. It's jerky-start-stop-pop reminds me of A Witness, The McTells (anyone remember them?) and bits of early Wonderstuff. You youngsters out there might prefer to compare them to Futureheads, but without the harmonies. Either way, this is song writing of high calibre and fat free!
- Thee SPC


The 4th in a series of 7-track 7” mini LPs (whaddya mean you haven’t got “The Miniest Album”, “The Big Flame” or “The Feminist Third”?) from the marvellous Sarandon. Featuring production values & backing vocals from not only The June Brides’s (ask Simon Reynolds - Ed) Phil Wilson – but also Big Flame’s (I was joking – I wouldn’t ask Simon Reynolds the time - Ed) Alan Brown – Sarandon prove that kinship through quality can bridge not only decades - but several generations too!

If you prefer your rock & roll with a high IQ - then Sarandon may just be the eclectic combo for you. They remember when pop music wasn’t crap - & probably even still believe that music can change the world. Bless
- Trakmarx


most bands have a couple of really good songs, then some more songs with one or two good ideas, but not enough to really last the full three or four minutes that is expected of the modern pop song. so often we have to put up with dull verses just to get to a fairly decent chorus.

sarandon have bypassed ever having this problem by deciding that all the filler around a song is utterly useless. seven tracks. one seven inch. eight minutes sixteen seconds of music. intros last for five seconds, outros are more or less done away with, and don't go looking for verses, choruses, bridges or middle eights.

enjoy the brief, utterly daft traipses through C86 and angular post punk that wear their influences on their record sleeves (check the name of the mini-album).

they don't copy, they cram together, speed up and then finish. leaving you plenty of time to enjoy yourself, but nowhere near enough time to get bored.
- Sandman

So. To get it out of the way as early on as possible, bloody hell but Sarandon make awfully short music. Like, these seven songs are about the same length as the first two tracks of The Sunshine Underground's latest single. Which means they're not as overblown, self indulgent, cumbersome, wearying, or overstaying of their welcome.
Not by default, however. It might be difficult to make short tracks that overstay their welcome but I'm pretty sure it'd be a cinch to make seven short dull tracks in a row. I've listened to whole albums' on intro play and wished for that two and a half minutes of my life back. No, the songs on offer here whip by only partly because of their brevity. Mostly, they're made to seem extra short by the fact you want them to stay. Songs like Kitten might seem too short at twice the length,
the spiky guitar offset by lashings of brass sparking out at you without sounding like a trivial sub-ska knockabout. Angela, at a similar minute and a half's length, manages to drape a layer of reminiscence and regret over the choppy fretwork, pin-sharp hi-hats and stabby drumming, lingering in the mind long after it's done.

These songs could be fifty seconds or five minutes and Sarandon would do them justice. They shuffle up their sound on each track and then flick through it like a deck of brand new cards, dealing out aces like Dance and Virginity on the way. Then, when they're done, you know you've been treated to a handful of caplets of extra strength creativity.
Yep, you'll notice it because it's short but you'll remember it because it's blistering.
- Maps Magazine

the newest delivery from sarandon is another 7 track 7", a format that should now be copyright of the band. this is the funniest and most curved released.

the title is honouring the june brides (a brilliant meteorite from the early 80's that unfortunately didn't cause much damage despite a pretty good impact - it will be neccessary some day to revisit the crater).
with the inclusion of trumpets on two songs the band sound almost pigbag funnky. i've not got a huge amount to add that i have not already said on the subject of sarandon - always impeccably dry, incisive with a dazzling spirit of black cynical humour that always turns around in under a minute.

this is the buzzcocks through a witness and bIG fLAME etc...just like i said in my first sarandon review. now i'm anxious to hear them do an album with only two 30 minute songs. but no, seriously this is a wonderful addition to my collection. and for yours too.
- Tatapoum

Sarandon come spurting and blurting through the sound system with some short, sharp, sweet and sour blasts of musical pleasure. Sarandon grab you by the lapels, slap you round the face before leaving you wide eyed, aghast and slightly sore after being awoken in the most brisk of fashions to the unadulterated, passionate short spurts of rare musical genius that Sarandon are able to produce in their short jerky songs. The June Bride is the last in a series of 4 Short mini albums brought out by Sarandon before a forthcoming CD/LP compilation of all four, which I for one am greatly excited about. The joyous splutter of trumpets throughout Kitten is a clear highlight of the seven short songs. This album is an explosion of odd excitement and happy rhythms and at £3 its an absolute bargain!!!! - 5/5
- Funky as Fudge

The last in their series of 7” mini-LPs, this epilogue features suitable guest appearances to reflect the influences they are proud to acknowledge, but not imitate. Phil Wilson of the June Brides (references here) and Alan Brown (of bIG fLAME, referenced earlier in the series) contribute vocals within the 7 tracks that only take up 8 minutes of your time. You’ll want to play it several times to get the most out of it. It opens with the chirpy, brassy, funky ‘Kitten’, follows with the calming jangle harmonics of ‘Angela’, whilst elsewhere amongst the nuggety snippets, cocky plaything ‘Meet Warren’ and the bent sway of ‘Virginity’ catch the attention.
- Vanity Project

I’m ashamed to admit that this is my first taste of the no nonsense caustic bubblegum pop of Sarandon and when I say bubblegum pop I mean the variety that is obviously wickedly spiked. The June Bride named in honour of the June Brides (whose Phil Wilson makes a guest appearance this time out along with Big Flames’ Alan Brown) is the fourth instalment of the ensembles 7 track 7” mini album series - which is as it says on the can 7 tracks all pressed on 7 inches of wax - and get this - total duration 8 minutes -ENT and Napalm Death fans awake - well maybe not because Sarandon party like it was C-86.

The trio getting together as Sarandon in 2003 feature among there number Crayola who it seems (according to the press release at least) to have appeared on over a 100 albums in some shape or form along the way releasing 25 solo albums and at one time in the 80‘s being a member of the Colgates, Future Sperm Brasil, Scooter, Pimp (and many many more bands I sadly haven‘t heard of) as well as fronting up the cassette label Thee Foundation for Nothing. These days he takes it easy by running Kubikikore records. Then there’s Simon - one half of Kubikikore and erstwhile member of Ambassadors of Sorrow and Joe who oversees Run Out records and plays in the Reverse (thankfully who we have heard of - and rather good to).

So that’s the introductions out of the way. As said Sarandon are your bastard off spring from the C-86 generation in particular the Cravats and Bogshed (the latter being best catered for on ‘Dance’ where they sound as though they’ve been warped by some serious Buzzcockian manoeuvres) who through repeat plays of The June Bride incessantly spring to mind - and why not since they are always criminally overlooked by certain elements of the ’pop’ press. Sarandon excel in spidery riffs, crooked hooks and off kilter melodies splintered by stop / start dynamics, this is not your wannabe angular bandwagon jumping brigade, no sir, though truth told the sounds are angular with flashes of rollicking dollops of art pop check out the art popping dippyness of the Devo meets Henry Cow screwball ness of ‘Lovely‘. Utilising minimalist melodies, structures, lyrics and er time frames - (the longest track here the marathon like ’Kitten’ which pops it at 1.26 (that’s one minute and twenty six seconds in case you weren’t paying attention at the back) and sounds like a wired up Pigbag doing bad things to the theme from ’Get Shorty’) - Sarandon’s closest reference point in terms of today’s young whippersnappers may well be the Playwrights and our current loves of ours Champion Kickboxer. Dealing with subject matters as far and er wide as limb deficient love affairs (‘Virginity’) and sweet revenge (’Dance’) Sarandon reveal themselves as not so much crooked but down right scary, ’Meet Warren’ is total schizoid mayhem, a frantic night time beating of a mutantly envisaged version of Toto Coelo’s ’I eat Cannibals’ at the hands of the Scars - pure punk funk though all said and done best of the pack is ’Angela’. An off key slice of candy coated psyche pop as though Southall Riot had colluded with Freed Unit to rain barbed digs upon the whole early bedroom cultured Kitchenware / Smiths and the like scarf and flowers adorned scene of the early 80’s. Expect a whole disc worth gathering together the four instalments later in the year, for now though welcome briefly to Sarandon’s world - pull up a pew, make a cup of coffee light up a fag and while your up doing that put the record on again cos it’s bound to have long since finished. Recommended.
- Losing Today

We considered doing a sort of themed view for Sarandon's The June Bride. Write the review using the same ethos with which the band created their music. However, we figured any such piece would just read, "Wow. Short songs. Well good. Bit sarcastic. Buy it. Really." and, y'know, the likes of that will never put food on the table so we'll try and say as much as we can. However, just know that in writing this first paragraph we've already listened to the album through, twice.

I was talking to a friend the other way about the correct way to pronounce scone. Y'know, the classic "scown" or "skon" debate. It's often said that "scown" is the posh way of saying it and "skon" is how us scrubbers say it, like. However, when you read the word, scone, it reads, "scone". Put it down in front of someone who's never seen it before and they'll think, scone, probably rhyme with cone, tone, bone and xylophone. Similarly, with music, people see anything different as a bit of a gimmick and managing to fit seven songs on a 7" seems, at a glance, a bit gimmicky.

How much of a song, though, do you really need for your audience to 'get it'? Why do so many bands feel the need to put thirty second breakdowns into every track? How much more does the second chorus say than the first? What Sarandon do is call a scone a "scown". It's not pretentious, it doesn't come across as making some unnecessarily wanky performance art statement, simply, these are fantastic little bulletpoints of jagged music that come in, give you the facts and get out of your hair. Would they be better if they were longer? Maybe there is more to be said on them but very few four minute art rock songs I've ever heard have needed to be much more than two. It's almost merciful, then, that here there isn't a single one over a minute and a half.

That's not to say these aren't fantastic songs, though. Jaunty, spiky, quick witted and thoroughly well rounded, these do more in their minute than a whole's hours worth of MTV2 songs manage in their alloted four. Kitten has stabs of saxophone without being dubious sub-ska, Anthony & Simon sways in with sea shanty overtones before drifting back to silence thirty lovely seconds later. Angela is jangly and remorseful while Dance features the lyrics and now in her neckbrace she may even survive, but she'll never dance again over rock 'n' roll swagger. These are songs that would work at a more standard length but don't need the extra couple of minutes to do their job. Twitchy and imaginative, this a superb mini album that turns brevity into an artform.

in one line, seven tracks of angular guitar greatness that explores as many ideas as twice as many songs in half as much time.
- No, really

Instalment four of Sarandon's four 7" 7-song mini albums is not an easy sentence to say when drunk. Through out The June Bride you can't help but wonder what some of these songs might have turned into had they not been governed by the strict rules of fitting onto a 7" single. There is nothing wrong in wanting to hear more of the angular funk of Kitten or the snack sized Morrissey in a tin of Angela. Meet Warren could have been a contender had it not had its nuts chopped off by the ruthless rules dictated by the format. On the flipside if you have the attention span of a 14-year old determined to play every ring tone on their phone in one 5 minute bus journey then Sarandon will fit straight off the peg. Through out each song the band have an epileptic fit with guitars, drums and vocals all spewing out in short sharp bursts, occasionally accompanied by equally out of tune and bonkers brass. All four mini albums will be available as one big (but still remarkably short) 28 song collection later this year and will make a worthwhile talking point in any Indie-art-rock lovers' collection. 3.5/5
- Leeds Music Scene

SINGLE OF THE WEEK
Sarandon are back with another fantastic 7 track 7" EP on Wrath. That trademark buzzsaw Ron Johnson C86 sound is evident as always (I love more that sound than anything). I was listening to Nightingales' new 7" last week & thinking just how pleased as punch I am that there's still a handful of bands stubbornly insistent on making their guitars sound like Napalm George Formby Death with wonky bass & barked vocals topping off each trebly slice of thrill pie. Every song's a condensed baby tin can of spiky audio joy that'll make you want to dig yr docs, cardy & NHS specs out and walk round like you're more important than the bass player out of McCarthy. All my favourite bands in the world are evident in Sarandon's 'June Bride', therefore they get single of the week, no question. Can't wait for the 68 track CD when it comes out!
- Norman Records

This is the fourth and final installment in London/Leicester popsters Sarandon's excellent series of scratchy minutepop mini-albums -7 belting jagged nuggets squashed onto one 7" single. This release features vocal contributions from legends Alan Brown of Big Flame and Phil Wilson of The June Brides.
- Jumbo Records

Energetic, splenetic post punk pop: what does that mean?
It's the nearest we can come to explaining these over-in-a-minute songs with angular guitars and quirky lyrics, such as, "like going to bed with def leppard". 4/5
- Leeds Guide

Over the last two years Sarandon have been releasing a series of 7” mini-albums. The June Bride is the forth and final one. As with the previous releases, The June Bride is full of delightful pop songs that last not very long at all (all seven tracks on this one speed by in just over eight minutes). However, despite the speed you’re still left feeling satisfied when it finishes, which is a feat in itself.

The June Bride is a great slice of indie-pop on its own and as part of a whole. And don’t worry if you’ve missed any of the discs in this series (or you don’t own a gramophone) as Wrath Records will be releasing a compilation of the whole thing on CD later this year.
- Indigo Flow

sarandon's latest release seems incredibly influenced by both the Buzzcocks and The Smiths. The bass lines are just like the legendary Steve Garvey’s and Crayola’s (yes that’s his name) vocal has early Mancunian pop melodies sewn on with all the spirit of Pete Shelley. Each song just cuts in and then buggers off without overstaying it’s welcome. The weighty plot is also incredibly delivered without much of a hint of distortion, with the guitar rattling around broken jangles, like the sound of an early era The Fall dabbling with a formative indie format. These reference points really just give a sense of direction though – “The June Bride” is a powerful and clever collection of twisted guitar pop. 5/5
- Manchester Music

The June Bride is a mini album to be released on 7" only, containing seven tracks with a total running time of just under nine minutes. I can't actually comment on the packaging or quality of the vinyl since the promo is naturally on boring CD, but I've had plenty of 7"s off Leeds' Wrath Records to know final result shouldn't disappoint. This is actually the fourth such mini seven-track 7" album release from Sarandon, the other three being The Miniest Album (Run Out Records), The Big Flame (Banzan Records) and The Feminist Third, and later this year there's apparently a 28 track CD compilation with all four albums on.

The three piece certainly have the knack of writing a good little pop tune, though if you're already thinking in terms of S-Club and Britney, stop right there. This is more like your classic Smiths or Hefner sort of pop: clean, chunky guitars, twangy bass and edgy rhythms, with added brass on some tracks. As you might expect from songs this short, no time is wasted on noodling guitar solos and given the opportunity all of them could have you dancing. The lyrics are generally somewhat tongue in cheek and upbeat.

Opener 'Kitten' is great but by far the best thing on here is 'Virginity' with its weird guitar bend hook and lyric: "He lost it all to a one-armed girl, like goin' to bed with Def Leppard." How can you not grin your face off to this?
- Theo Graham-Brown | ishotthedeputy.com

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, along comes Sarandon, with “The June Bride” which has to rank as the shortest seven-track EP ever released. Crayola, Simon and Joe (guitar/voice, drums and bass respectively) have here crafted their fourth EP of ‘pop’ music, although this is like no pop music I’ve ever heard. More an experience than a collection of songs, “Kitten”, “Angela” “Dance” “Meet Warren” etc all seem to start and stop without any discernible warning, and in a time shorter than seems altogether decent, it’s all over. Definitely not for the feint-hearted or the easily confused, and I must confess, not a record I’ll be returning to, but if confused-core is your bag, check these guys out. Definitely a score for those people that like to search below the mainstream radar for their musical kicks.
- Heathen Angel

Reviews of The Feminist Third

The Feminist ThirdI know absolutely nothing about Sarandon – except that they record for the spiffingly wonderful Wrath Records, Northern doyens of the nouveaux-indie renaissance that will indelibly stamp 2006. “The Feminist Third” is a 7-track mini-LP of impressive diversity & unremitting quality. “Don’t Say No” is the Subway Sect pissing all over “Modern Life Is Rubbish” era Blur (I say, what a good idea – Toiletries Ed) – basically a list of things one shouldn’t say no to, like white boys with afros - & homos in discos. “Prove It” can’t keep still for a minute, either – fidgety, fraught & freckled – Sarandon make Futureheads sound like a marketing exercise for the new Kate Bush LP. “Health” is 2006’s repost to JCC’s “I’ve Got A Brand New Tracksuit (Still Got The Old One)” – a justified & ancient critique of a million midnight runners. “Manky” keeps the quality peddle pressed firmly to the metal for another adrenalin spiked charge from intro to outro that recalls Wire fronted by John Morton. Rarely a tune longer than the 2-minute mark on board, this extended EP or mini LP, or whatever you want to call it, flags Sarandon up as ones to watch – whoever they may be.
- Michele “Suit” Bernstein | trakmarx

Feminist Third is the third of four seven-inch mini albums released concurrently in an almost Wedding Present-esque coup at indie chart supremacy, if such a ridiculous notion existed. Regardless of that, these lads have certainly packed a lot into the minimal seven inches. There's the sleazy drawl of 'Don't Say No,' a decadent rabble rouse complete with drunken trumpet backing. Then there's the childhood drama of 'Prove It' and teen drama of 'Health', all sounding quite Inspiral in a guitar-led way. 'A Hat' becomes a playground rant while 'Manky' and 'Happy' are pretty psychotic and 'George And Maisie' is nice, but nuts. Lyrically, the whole thing is witty and snappy. Bringing to mind a young Ian Brodie, and musically it's very pop-like without being too mainstream. Brevity doesn't seem to be an issue either as the tracks don't feel as short as they actually are. Like Hollywood film stars. So, for a difficult third album, Sarandon have done pretty good with this short, sweet and slightly strange selection.
- Rob Wright | sandman magazine

"the feminist third" is the next stage in sarandon''s quest to conquer the world (or so they say). i'm not sure about the girl on the cover, but these seven new songs are a jerky, fast and furious but also a little more "pretty" than their previous records, at least the ones on side one.
"don't say no", in a world of intelligence and tolerance of others, should be their mega hit - quasi funky in a pigbag or a certain ratio kind of way.
but as is always the case with sarandon just as you start to move they have moved on to the next song. in "prove it" i swear you can hear pete shelley, and then "health" recycles a gang of four riff as a tourist....i seem to be saying that sarandon are a bunch of copiers. i'm not. i'm really trying to impress you with my encyclopaedic knowledge (and praise myself a little). sarandon are three guys - they're funny, malignant, intelligent and simple. they keep their language in their pockets and are not afraid to play tricks that are absolutely not correct but very funny.
in fact their lyrics are like their music, concise and tot he point.
i assure you, sarandon are one of the reasons why i still like rock and roll.
undoubtedly "don't say no" will not get them on to top of the pops, but they should at least be worth platinum to you.
- tatapoum

jerky spunky pop á la the ordinary boys, libertines and their ilk, sarandon are doubtless very happening.
after the nme-friendly onslaught of the first two tracks it all goes a bit wierd as 'health' turns retro in another direction, all C86
jerkiness along the lines of yummy fur, fire engines etc. could be worse.
- is this music?

Sarandon have a simple plan: four 7-song mini-albums short enough to be released on 7" single, this being the third. Designed for the micro-attention spans of the modern music lover, words such as spiky and angular were invented for bands like Sarandon and they literally bash and stagger their way through these seven mini-epics. Like being faced with a drunk who keeps forgetting what they were arguing about, they lurch from one point to another only pausing to take another sip of Tenants Super. The chop-chop wang guitars are backed up by equally erratic horns and stop start drums. Above this lead singer Crayola flatly yelps out his nasal toned lyrics employing all the majesty of the playground song book. At the end of it are you any further forward? Not really but that's hardly the point with art. Guaranteed to divide, entertaining some and annoying the hell out of the rest Sarandon will at the very least fit in your lunch box.
- leeds music scene

Sarandon specialise in the kind of scuzzy pop explosions that most of the current top 40 would give their left leg for. Their mission statement is as genius as it is simple; four 7-track, 7” mini albums to be released by different labels, before all four labels team up to release the complete works. The Feminist Third is, you guessed it, the third in the series.

All tracks are under two minutes long and all are splendid shots of off-kilter pop. ‘Don’t Say No’ is the ska tinged opener telling us “Don’t say no, to hot pants……Don’t say no to homo’s in discos”. ‘Prove It’ and ‘Happy’ are simply disco fantastic that you can’t help but smile at.
And after just over 10 minutes it’s all over, leaving you feeling like you’ve just been slapped round the face with the most refreshing wet fish ever. Brilliant. 4/5
- high voltage

On Sarandon's website is a note that says, '4 rehearsals, 6 gigs, 3 recording sessions, 21 songs, 21 inches'. Reading this you would think that the three members of the band are very very foolish. Astonishingly 'The Feminist Third' is actually rather good.
This of course means that they are pretty talented or damn liars!
'TFT' is the third instalment in Sarandon's mini-album series that sees them release four albums on different labels with seven short songs on each.
In fact none of the songs on this release is longer than two minutes.
'Don't Say No' is a riotous call to arms that squashes together The Streets and The Jam along with some rhythmical trumpeting.
'Prove it' brings in elements of Gang of Four whilst 'Manky' sounds like The Libertines at light speed.
Seven songs in just over 10 minutes may seem ridiculous, but these nuggets of break neck rock 'n' roll contain more ideas and hooks then some bands get through in a lifetime. 7.5/10
- heathen angel

I’m not quite sure what to make of this band to be honest. One thing I’m utterly certain of though is that Peely would’ve loved them!
Ridiculously short tracks, often quirky, and flitting between sounding part Nightingales, part Wedding Present, “The Feminist Third” is an engaging listen all the way through. Don’t boil the kettle while it’s on though whatever you do, because you’ll miss about three quarters of the album if you do!
Standout track for me is the manically fucked up “Manky”, and you just can’t help wondering if the band’s just taking the piss at times…
What’s not to like about this band? It’s easily embraceable if you’re not completely stupid, and possibly even more so if you are.
Play me a sillier release this year and I’ll willingly eat my own gall bladder. And a Pot Noodle. 8/10
- atomic duster

The plan is for 4x7 7” mini-LPs on different labels, with all 4 labels to unite for a CD compilation release at the end. ‘The Miniest Album’ appeared on Run Out, ‘The Big Flame’ (which we missed, I think) on Banazan, and now this. The ethic is to not over-rehearse, indeed barely rehearse, before laying down their nuggety, truffley pop onto tape. This time we have brass, trumpets squalling through ‘Don’t Say No’. Elsewhere the drum hammer of ‘Health’ leads perfectly into the pacey chaaang of ‘Manky’. Finishes up with the jaunty, clipping ‘George & Maisie’.
- vanity project

The new release on the mighty Wrath Records is a sweet mash up of spazzy pop and would delight any fan of this label's quality finds.
- pure groove

With a title like 'The Feminist Third' the mind gives way to nightmarish thoughts about a girrrl revival, and then you clock the bra wearing lady in the art work and think alas, what’s in a name? Well in this case literally not a lot. Sarandon are a band that live for a very short moment, The Feminist Third is their third 7 track mini album and is filled with oobershort (less than 2 minuets), shots of guitar lead fun; angular, foot-tapping, shoulder-twitching…POP! It’s sharp, it’s direct, it’s uncomplicated, and in fact it’s everything a good pop record should be.

Occasionally they do veer away from the pop model, 'Happy' a mere 55 seconds short, is a spastic, convulsive display of jazz that supersedes the ‘it’ bands favoured by the mainstream. But there’s clearly a punk ethic behind this poppy exterior, Don’t Say No is the anti-Christ to all those ‘Just Say No’ campaigns that plagued our childhoods, “Its common sense and employment/that enables your lack of enjoyment”. The punk mentality is carried throughout; Health mocks the gym frequenting crowd, parodying their incessant behaviour with boys running around the garden and supermarket in their underwear. Observing the absurd is something Sarandon do well;' A Hat', is more than just an immaculately produced piece of pop (that word again), the lead guitar is as simplistic as a bunch of kids stood with protruding tongues tipped with stores of leaping taunts, but it’s also an observation of the looks orientated nature of society, “I wasn’t flattered that you came/and I’ll be happy when you go/I can’t let people in the street/see me with you with hair like that.”

Its true what your year twelve tutors used to say to you, why say in ten words what you can make clear in five. Sarandon are the energy efficient pop band of the future, not quite as musically straight forward as Ramones inspired punksters, Sarandon aren’t limited to three chords and cool hair, but The Feminist Third is the soundtrack for a generation of impatience and a culture that needs everything now.
- gigwise

Sarandon call themselves a pop band with short attention span. "The Feminist Third" is their third 7" with seven songs (there will be one more!) -- and 21 songs on 21 inches makes me believe them. No Sarandon song is longer than two minutes. Since their previous release they have a new drummer, they sound harder and tighter although still charmingly DIY, the songs are catchier than ever, and some of them have trumpets! Imagine Erase Errata's "ca viewing", only even more frantic. "Manky" and "health" are among this year's finest moments. If
you like the Yummy Fur, Minutemen and the Fire Engines you will love Sarandon. Great, spazzy stuff. (8/10)
- pstereo.no

Sarandon may quite possibly have a Thelma & Louise obsession. On the other hand their minimalist biography apart (“Sarandon formed in late 2003. Sarandon are a pop band with a short attention span...”) this razor sharp, trampolining collection of fit inducing rakish, off kilter pop, is perhaps just the kind of drunken yet suspiciously sober action, we all require. At times tracks like “Don’t Say No” are reminiscent of a buzzed up Blur, but “Manky” with its slightly daft chorus line, is full of oblique Gang Of Four references, as are the skittering guitar segments of “A Hat”. Slightly skatty, but in essence Sarandon's fractured, slightly lampooned landscapes are well worth exploring.
- manchester music

ALGEBRA GOES PUNK
There’s much nonsense spoken about the ‘music industry’, a lot of it by me, but it’s seems to be an acknowledged truism that it’s the drooling waywardness of bands like Sarandon that make it possible for the likes of Busted to trouble the ears and pockets of young people. The equation going something like this; Sarandon inspire a slightly less nutty outfit who in turn give birth to something blander, more acceptable and accessible and they, in turn… equals McBusted. A good enough reason for nipping round to chez Sarandon with a case of Mr Molotov’s finest you might think, but think on… if you do that you’ll be depriving the world of mad, early Boomtown Rattishness like “Don’t Say No” and the late night, drunken childsplay of “Manky” and I, for one, would miss the fractured riffs of “A Hat”.
- unpeeled

sarandon are a pop band with a short attention span. the delicious concept of the band was this: 4 x 7-track 7" 'mini albums' each containing enough short bursts of spazzy pop to keep the listener fed, but not bloated. each one to be released by a different label, then all 4 labels to team up and put out the lot as a large album at the end. 'the feminist third' is the third mini album and follows exactly the same pop blueprint as the first two, but this time with the addition of stuttering trumpets and harder-thumped drums. if you love big flame, bogshed, fire engines and all things ron johnson records then this is for you.
- rough trade

Sarandon, the Big Flame/A Witness devotees who're steadily building up a modicum of sprightly respect have their difficult 3rd 7" EP out on Leeds' very own Wrath. 'The Feminist Third' is more of the same itchy, buzzsaw 80's agit pop but now embellished with some stereophonic trumpet squawks here and there. Seven brief & rather timeless songs for any lover of C86 or trebly angular lurch rock. Must comment on the less spindly sound. this 3 piece are coming truly into their own. Bloomin' great!
- norman records

Sarandon’s plan is a simple one; they record four seven track mini-albums, release them through different labels and then get all four labels to release them all together in one package at the end. It’s such a good plan that the band don’t feel the need to put much work in - they practiced just twice and played live once before recording the first set of tracks and practiced just once more before recording the second.
All this apparently laziness might make for some pretty bad music but somehow Sarandon use their complacency to their advantage. The Feminist Third is number three in the series and finds the band in top form, with a new drummer and added horns for seven tracks, none of which break the two minute mark.
It’s all very quick, to the point and great to listen to. Real pop for the MTV generation.
- indigo flow

Reviews of The Big Flame

The Big Flameshould this 7 track 7" become a new format then sarandon are it's initiator. this time a major influence is clearly announced by the title of the disc, "the big flame" (to hail their ancestors big flame). a little more pop than it's predecessor, it's composed of short pieces of squeaking and unmatched pop music, all dispatched in record time (around a minute per song). if the record didn't already turn at 33rpm one would be tempted to modify the speed. the lyrics are inkeeping with the style of the music - short and sharp. and again there's hints of the buzzcocks in "moo".
- tatapoum

That EP’s name’s not a misnomer. Sarandon is a London band that’s quite proud of bragging about their influences – the Minutemen, Yummy Fur, and of course Big Flame. Meaning their songs are short, the guitar sounds trebly, the rhythm section tight, the lyrics decidedly pointed, and everything is contained in one single. Seven songs here, and while none of them really meet the levels of abrasion of their influences and suffer from a bit of self-awareness, are largely fun and enjoyable. It’s nice to hear a bunch of folks who know better doing just that: knowing they’re better and proving it. Recommended!
- dusted magazine

This is the second 7" EP from this UK trio, and like the first one, it's packed with short, spastic pop tunes in the vein of the Minutemen, Wire and like the title suggests, Big Flame as well. The guitars are trebly and jittery, but the bass and vocals frequently carry the melody in songs like "Little Cake" and the Milky Wimpshake-ish "Politique". Perfect for folks with a short attention span (like myself), these songs are even shorter than the last time around: 71⁄2 minutes total, with the longest tune lasting 81 seconds! And like the last EP's "Janet & Susan", they close off the set with a brief instrumental called "Joe & James". I kind of hope they keep releasing their songs as EPs, because I'd hate to see their songs get longer to accommodate a full album... MTQ=6/7
- indiepages

the second very miniature album by sarandon is called "the big flame" (banazan 7") and the press release namechecks bogshed and the minutemen.
so i was expecting something a bit more jagged than what's here. it's very compressed, that's for sure, but there's no way this is not pop.
there are certainly beefheart derived rhythm stutters, but it really reminds me more of some of the faster stuff from the postcard or flying nun groups than anything else.
led by crayola, the major domo of kabukikore (and veteran of groups too numerous to mention) it has an undeniable low-key genius.
but it is pop.
- byron coley | the wire

Formed by guitarist and vocalist Crayola with a vision of brief, succinct pop songs. All measure of artful shapes and angles (think Adventures in Stereo) have been included in Sarandon's ultimately hook laden artpop output. And the output has been...21 songs in 21 inches - An appropriately revisionist art approach of 7" vinyl releases each featuring 7 songs has delivered the debut 'The miniest album', the Ron Johnson tribute 7" and the brand new 7" 'The Feminist Third' on Wrath Records. Sarandon make Arctic Monkeys and Bromheads Jacket and their like sound positively radio fodder.
- Artrocker

OK. Here's what I was listening to mid-Eighties. Big Flame's frantic maelstrom of guitar noise, The Noseflutes' warped and deadpan funny take on Captain Beefheart, Bogshed's angular outsider dancing, The Nightingales laconic post-punk drawl, The Fall. Sarandon's seven-track EP 'The Big Flame' recalls the above, and more. "Three rehearsals, one gig, two recording sessions, 14 songs, 14 inches," they boast. This is articulate, quintessentially British pop.
- Everett True | Plan B.

Sarandon are awesome, like Big Flame fronted by Billy Childish.
- go magazine

Crayola (Guitar / Voice), Simon (Drums), Joe (Bass) or Sarandon, are a fun loving three-piece who make short, explosive, manic blasts of pure pop mayhem that references bands as far ranging as The Minutemen, Contortions, The Yummy Fur and XTC. They kind of remind of the Rezillos' lo-fi pop cousins. If you're not interested yet, you should be be!
- throwaway style

'Angular' and 'trotting' are two adjectives that I yearn to use often, but only do a few times. For the trio Sarandon, nevertheless, they fit like a glove. Their songs bounce like rubber balls, bringing to memory the dislocated punk of Yummy Fur, Josef K and -above all- the incomparable Big Flame.
- go magazine

Sarandon are trapped in the glorious mid 80’s underground, eternally recording the perfect John Peel Session, bumping into Big Flame, Josef K and Bogshed in the Maida Vale canteen to talk about the greatness of creating short, spiky pop songs. And why that brittle sound? Because leanness is exciting.
- guided missile

the second offering from sarandon is another, ahem, mini album. 7 songs on a 7". it's 10 minutes of jerky, scratchy pop joy a la wolfhounds, big flame, bogshed, fire engines.
the title says it all. it makes you long for the days when ron johnson records released something as fresh as this every month.
- rough trade

Woo we got a new 7" in by Sarandon. We loved their last one. Since their last 7 track EP they've been very busy. Well they had one rehearsal before going into record their new 7 track EP if you call that busy. You wouldn't know though cos it's totally class folks. This is packed full of energy and top short songs.... we like short songs... we like short songs. It's called The Big Flame so they're wearing their influences proudly on their sleeves. Also see Josef K, The Fire Engines, Bogshed etc and other such originators of spiky pop. Fantastic....
- norman records

Reviews of The Miniest Album

The Miniest Albuma whole forgotten side to the music of the 80's is revealed in the 7 songs of this 7" mini album. bIG fLAME, a witness, stump, bogshed are all groups who return from the beyond with the first riffs of the guitars. furious, dry and rough funk, breakneck speed and broken rhythms, single sentences that assassinate all constitute to these tiny songs. and take note, "bored" is a very relevant recall of "boredom" by the buzzcocks.
- tatapoum

Seven songs in about ten minutes on this 7" - the miniest album, indeed! This trio hails from England, and plays the most spastic pop I've heard in a while. With their trebly guitars and jerky sound, they remind me a lot of Gang Of Four and early Wire crossed with the Minutemen; and sound like they could've been found on one of those Messthetics comps, unearthed from the early 80s. As you could guess, all of the songs are under two minutes long (with the average skewed by the thirty second instrumental "Janet & Susan" which closes the EP), and they're bursting with energy. Some of them are pretty melodic, too, which isn't an easy feat with this type of music. I'd certainly be interested to hear more like this... MTQ=6/7
- indiepages

In the mid 80s there flourished briefly a self-styled ‘cubist pop’ movement. It was headed by Big Flame, and there were also the Mackenzies and forgotten others recalled only on inlay cards of dusty, buried Peel tapes. I was a fan of this unmusical kind of music, all sharp and pointy with notes in unexpected places. I recall this now on listening to a new record by a band called Sarandon, about whom I know nothing. It seems to follow in this tradition. Are we ready for a cubist pop revival? Well, why not? We’ve had far less deserving ones. We live, after all, in a world where kids consider Franz Ferdinand truly astonishing because they’ve never heard Josef K.
There’s something about this 7” single which appeals. Brief, angular songs jerk into life and then quickly expire. I have a special fondness for short songs. The singer reminds me of the bloke out of another treasured mid 80s band, the Wolfhounds, with that slightly sour edge to his voice. I probably make this sound more retro than it is, for good songs are good songs in any day, and I’m glad someone is out there doing this. It’s aptly named as the Miniest Album. You get seven songs, one per inch, which appeals to my northern parsimony. Value for money, and a pile of songs that are no longer than they need to be. Who could resist?
You can do what I did and buy the record directly from their website - www.kabukikore.net/sarandon - via PayPal for three quid – just think, in Big Flame’s day you used to have to send off cheques and SAEs to get things. While there, you can also download a couple of MP3s, if that’s what grabs you, although that isn’t nearly as exciting as getting a good 7” single through the post.
- seven inches of joy

Sarandon haven't got time for that single, album lark so they've decided to squeeze as many tracks onto one wedge of vinyl as they possibly can. What a fantastic idea! This makes them the ultimate disposable band for a start, as most songs touch two minutes if they're lucky. Seven songs on one record (that's a song per inch for the mathematicians out there) means you can trough yourself silly on new music without having to flip sides, and the fact that the EP survives largely on scratchy, stilted Devo-esque lurches of sound like 'Frank' and 'Your Devotion' makes a good idea positively wet-pant worthy. 'The Miniest Album' EP is the ultimate listen for those with drastically small attention spans, catchy as the flu, incredibly listenable and very, very short.
- the fly

Sarandon - The Miniest Album (Banazan)
At the behest of Crayola, these three guys came together for 3 rehearsals which led to one gig and one recording session, and these 7 songs (lasting 10 minutes) are the fruits of that session. You can feel the spontaneity in the sustained angular chops, the agitated basslines and the enthusiastic rattle from the drums. AS many quality ideas as you might expect on the biggest of LPs. 'Your Devotion' and 'Bored' are the most iconic pop songs of the lot, frenzied jangling and cheeky vocal hooks. A pleasurable irritant and great rock n' roll 7" value.
- Skif / vanity project

"Wow. In Sarandon's bio they claim to be going after a sound akin to Big Flame and Bogshed. What a thought! And hey, if that's their goal, you'd have to say they were pretty successful. Their debut, The Miniest Album (Run Out 7"), is very 80s sounding post-punk smut with speedy, slappy guitar parts, rhythms that come straight outta the early Fast groups and casually crafted vocals. No way would I have pegged the year of release in a blindfold test."
- Byron Coley / the wire

Christ, they don't make 'em like this any more. Unless they were around then and are a bunch of (probably scruffy and) obsessive characters. And they are. So they do. It's early in the 1980s. It's late at night and you are lying in bed with a battery-powered transistor radio tuned to Radio 1 (no FM in those days.) You've got the covers over your head, tucked under the pillows to muffle the sound from your Mum and Dad in the next room. This makes you very hot and you are perspiring. You are tuned -- of course -- to John Peel (Rest In Peace, John) who is playing records that sound like a cheese grater having a wild time with a couple of metal rulers and a box of tacks. All have a bad case of the jigs and are good friends with a bloke who likes to half-sing enigmatic, probably clever but you can't tell, one-liners around the zig-zag noise and the songs are over almost before they've started.
It takes something this good to make me feel 12 years old again.
- robots and electronic brains / splendid

PSYCHO NEW ROSE IS A KILLER
Sarandon “The Miniest Album”(Run Out / Banazan)
Oh this lot are great aren’t they What? You haven’t got this yet? Shame, it’s a brilliant record sprung from an idea so brilliantly simple it makes aletterbox look like a Yes album sounds. Said idea being to write and record some sinewy,skewed, barbed and beautifully catchy pop songs. Mind you, they are dangerously fractured, check “Pin Up”, the Dammed do Talking Heads and it’s so perfectly sweet and short, “I’ve had enough of this and I’m going home” they say and then, they do! Brilliant. Why fuck around and waste time with traditional pop-padding. Sarandon songs consist only of the ‘good bits’, like dinner without sprouts. One of the best bits is the crap-jap guitar blitzing on “Make Fun”, very punky, very diy, lovely. Please check them out at www.runoutrecords.com and then weigh in with a purchase.
- unpeeled

"Sarandon rock just like it's C86, in many ways... there are seven tracks on this fizzy record which whip by at a jerkily furious pace. Everybody's loving the whole world of jerky/angular/80s-style noisy pop right now, we're told, so maybe this is Sarandon's time! Ridiculous music industry trends aside, this is a fun and funny single; anybody with more than a passing interest in the lineage of Josef K - Fire Engines - Stump - Bogshed - Big Flame - Yummy Fur will, I think, find something to make them smile on here."
- diskant

"'The Miniest Album' is the first fruits from sarandon (who include members of host and reverse in their ranks). it's seven songs in ten minutes, scratchy jerky pop songs in the finest tradition of Eighties indie heroes like big flame, a witness and bogshed. their tracks are very short, very noisy and very catchy. production comes from scissorkicks aka anthony from collapsed lung."
- rough trade

"Not quite sure how I passed this by before, but I just discovered Sarandon’s The Miniest Album 7” (split release on the Run Out and Banazan - home of the brilliant My Teenage Stride - labels) lurking beneath a pile of papers in a corner of the Geek Lair that has gone un-charted for a long long time. Not sure how it got there, either, but there it was. I’m so glad I unearthed it too, because it’s a darn fine concoction of sounds that recall the likes of Big Flame, Nightingales, early Wolfhounds (when they had the ‘LA Juice’ coursing in their veins), Hellfire Sermons, Yummy Fur, Emperor Julian, Playwrights… all the classiest of references of course. Songs of brevity and delight, and not unlike This Poison! whose Magazine collection I reviewed for Tangents recently. For anyone with a love of angular abrasive sounds with glorious Pop hooks, I’d say this seven track artefact was pretty much essential. Damn it, I’m even off to buy a second copy. And after you’ve downloaded the tracks on their website, I strongly suggest that you should too."
- unpopular

"It just HAS to be an English band doesn't it with that jokey self deprecating title? The ghost of the Fall, Wedding Present, Half Man Half Biscuit and the like hangs heavy around UK indiedom (and probably always will)... but I digress. This is a 7" vinyl mini album - wadaya mean there's no such thing! I've got one here!
Scratchy, thumpa-thumpa, shouty and great, and a minute later it's over. 'Birds', it's a one line song... and that's literally one line, but a good one. The clean guitar is frantically hacked and beaten (what was that about the Weddoes?) and, hold on a second, there's a tune - and I think I could whistle it. That old school indie thing is in there alright but this sounds like 2004 all over.
'Make Fun' is pure Gang of 4... no it really is! A cracking bass run and herky jerky drum pattern so cool that we almost don't need the Andy Gill guitar daggering, which are the 'dressing'. Whether this is a wonderful, playful, biographical story of having fun with an older woman or a sad paedophilia commentary I'm not sure... I sense the former.
It is authentically post punk meets C86 scratchings and janglings with deadpan, honest, kitchen sink autobiography vocals. 'Your Devotion' sounds like an appalling cover version attempt at The Loving Spoonful but at 78rpm - in other words, charming, funny and catchy. 'Bored' is perhaps THE one or perhaps it's just to me that it feels like an anthem for a bored new youth and a cry for something to happen. Classic adolescent suburban 'tedium is the medium' tales, and oh so English. The menagerie on the sleeve... I must be missing something. 4 out of 5."
- artrocker

"first EP by this amazing new band, 7 songs combining the scratchy, jerky Post-Punk sound of classic british bands (think of JOSEF K, the early days of the MEKONS and SWELL MAPS, etc.) with a MINUTEMEN-like approach!"
- x mist

"Sarandon release their debut 7" single. In fact this turned up at the towers early this week and we were so impressed we e mailed the band to get a load off 'em cos we know you're all gonna want copies. It's 7 tracks in total and tis called The Miniest Album. I've been asking the boys to brainstorm who they sound like and this is what we've come up with so far....Big Flame, Bogshed, Fire Engines, The Wolfhounds, Josef K, Small World Experience, Death By Milkfloat, A Witness, Hellfire Sermons and more obscure bands you won't have heard of. It's absolutely fantastic indie guitar which will appeal to folks who are getting to The Rakes, Help She Can't Swim, The Futureheads at the mo. It's that kind of spiky indie gear. Brilliant stuff indeed!"
- norman records

First up is Sarandon - it's a skittering guitary sprawl-a-thon with millions of enthusiastic cockroaches running rampant over the guitar strings. This backed by thumping drum-tastics as though a man with a BIg Heavy Stick is chasing the naughty roaches. Oh yeah and there's some nice punky pop singin going on too.
- artrocker

"you cannot go wrong sounding like Big Flame, Bogshed and the early Yummy Fur. Standard!"
- guided missile

"i want to have their babies."
- ruby banazan