“Fresh baked bread keeps the pigs well fed,” was the killer line that got me hooked on Wall’s last song, their debut track ‘Cuban Cigars’.
This time round it’s the just-as-spiky, breakneck declaration of “Fear I’ve lost my place in this race but I can wear the face of a winner”, and it’s mainly because of the way singer Sam York delivers it. Make no mistake, she’s the real deal – wicked, mean lyrics with a touch of the surreal are spat out so perfectly on ‘Fit The Part’ that you wonder whether it’s all calculated and pre-planned or just a monumental lashing out that happened to get captured on record as the exact second she reached breaking point.
The band aren’t half bad either – mutilated Stones guitars clash and churn and at least three changes in pace mean the song just builds and builds and builds. Intensity is the key for this lot. People will say they sound like Patti Smith but that’s missing the point: there’s so much more to admire here, and while Devo, Feelies et al probably feature heavily on Wall’s collective turntable alongside Patti, there’s also a brittle poeticism in the words that’s been missing from New York indie for years. It reminds me of Mike Skinner in parts, all anguished howls and ‘me, me, me’ lines that would totally fail if they weren’t so coolly delivered. Wall mean business, basically.
Wall’s self-titled debut EP is out on January 15 next year via Wharf Cat Records. No word on UK dates yet.