Inscrutable Records

The wired and inspired new home of Indie Pop

In the perpetual cross-Atlantic tennis game that is pop music, the yanks (is that an insult!?) and the brits (definitely an insult) trade fluids and sounds until who knows what is what anymore. It used to be Central Scotland that could lay claim to be the home of heart-forlorn swooners until Sarah Records and the English south, then a whole wave of Slumberlanders took over in the 90s and know what we know as “Indie pop” is so dispersed and diverse that it’s like one massive sad, joyous salad.

So welcome Inscrutable Records of new Indie Pop mecca St. Louis, Missouri. While our tongue might be fairly far into our cheek with that pronouncement (only one group on Inscrutable Records so far are actually from St. Louis) it’s instructive to think that the label was started by one-man-DIY-industry Martin Meyer, formerly of Lumpy And The Dumpers and the eponymous Lumpy Records. Known for a steady onslaught of genre defying and defining “egg” punk records, not least by flagship rotters the Dumpers Meyer’s new venture is both familiar and wired, fresh and new.

Inscrutable Records takes the scrappy, instinctive DIY eithic of Lumpy and applies it to Indie Pop of the C8- variety to frankly brilliant results. Chief among them is…

SOUP ACTIVISTS – Mummy What Are Flowers For? 

Meyer’s own group takes his by now iconic (in some circles) vocal style, softens it up with a TVPs style shamble group and in the process produces some of the most uncannily weird pop music of the year. Instant hits? Boys With Plants, opener Jeffrey Jarvis (that sounds like The Kinks if you discovered them in the bog), TVs In The Orchard’s Joe Meek producing The Shaggs if they’d spent *quite a lot of time* practising and released on Goner Records. This record is one of the most absurdly brilliant of the year.

PLEASANT MOB – Pleasant Mob

Chicago’s Pleasant Mob are probably the easiest, most digestible pop groups on the label. Is it too soon to be nostalgic for the turn of the 2010s Captured Tracks-era of indie revival? Of course that music itself was a look back to the early 90s which was a late 60s British thing ad infinitum but Pleasant Mob have the added bonus of writing some great, great songs. I Don’t Know sounds really like Terry with a pleasing Squeeze twist, Ceramic Sock has a terseness that falls into a delightful boy/girl vocal thing which will always, I mean ALWAYS be a winner. Pleasant Mob have what it takes. And that’s LOADS of melodies full of sad sunshine.

 

TIA ROSA – Misterio Lounge 3000

Delightfully weird lounge music via Mexico on an extreme(ly low) budget, bringing to mind Algebra Suicide, Solid Space, Felix Kubin, Dorothy, surrealism filtered through a Young Marble Giants minimalist charm. This is probably my favourite of the whole batch as it’s the most weird… lounge music for a universe between reality and heaven, Bossa Nova for supernovas in the mind.

 

FAMOUS MAMMALS – (2)

Probably the most “famous” group of the first batch of Inscrutable Records releases, but that’s not saying much. Still defiantly underground and working out as they go along, Famous Mammals feature among others the ever-present Stanley Martinez and if you dug the first album Instnat Pop Expressionism Now! (which came and mostly went), this second album seems to have been culled from the same sessions: Swell Mapsian pop music, Faustian tape experiments, a sublime and profane meld of pop songs and experimentation. This is the first press, limited copies.

 

Posts navigation