Ah GUMS! I don’t rightfully know why I just wrote that but it seemed kind of appropriate after having pointed my critical ears in the direction of their album “Temps”.
GUMS! are indie pop of the Scottish kind only with the tweeness that you might expect replaced with the kind of laconic gruffness that would entice even a serial killer to turn up the volume on these twelve songs. As always, Martin Smith’s non voice provides the spice that counteracts any sugar that might be present even if the splendidly normal voice of Nora Noonan is undoubtedly ear candy both here and everywhere else for that matter.
Of course, we came here for the songs and GUMS! do not disappoint. Gloriously downtrodden yet never tied to the ordinary , the GUMS! song bandwagon draws enough from the post punk pool to fully charge “Once, Always, Most” to 100% ironic angst and, with some synth pop seasoning, turns “We Used To Run Around” into the perfect pastiche of all those bands who look backwards for inspiration. Oh, were you looking for a bit of Scottish style jangle? Try “You Held Me” for it’s the sound of the street with all the romance that usually involves. Not a lot, in other words.
GUMS! do sentiment. Really they do. They just do it with a viewpoint that only just allows them to see the sun in the sky. This is a realistic approach as it rains all the time in Scotland. Come to think of it, GUMS!” might actually be the Scottish equivalent of sunshine. No matter, I now have happy ears (and wet feet).
Best song? The distilled perfection of “Once, Always, Almost”.
The verdict? GUMS! don’t need to go to the dentist.
Available from Bandcamp.