30
Nov 00

LIFE WITHOUT BUILDINGS – Young Offenders

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Good packaging is so important, and Life Without Buildings records look supercool, really hard post-punk fonts at angles, light green and off-white on stark black background, minimal information but not making a point of it. They look like they could have come out in 1978. And they sound like it, too: they’ve got this dense post-punk noise going on, all angles and clatter. On top there’s Sue Tompkins – a really ’78 name, too, like the band’s name, which is obviously pure Talking Heads – and she snarls and sighs and you think yeah, Patti Smith and Liliput and the Slits. Except when you start thinking like that you notice there’s not quite as much going on underneath as you thought, it’s good driving indie rock but nothing to really catch you, and then you focus back on Sue and you suddenly realise that all this broken-up chatter she’s throwing out just makes Life Without Buildings into Campag Velocet with a girl singing. And then you put the CD back in the box. But really, beautiful packaging.

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