“You keep playing me like a fruit mach-ine/Overstretched your gen-er-o-si-ty!” Snapping up this gem from Manchester’s The Ting Tings may involve heading to one of their shows and batting away all the sweaty hands surrounding their merch table, but the A-side on this tour-only seven-inch is the sort of playful disco-punk you’ll kick your shins off later on for missing out on.
The first comparisons you reach for in attempting to describe ‘Fruit Machine’ are inevitably cool ones – the knowing arched eyebrow and man-machine stutter of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’, the moist-catsuit yelp and gutsy soapboxing of The Gossip. What this isn’t, however, is the sound of fashionable trend-chasers trying to get a support slot at White Heat. Rather, ‘Fruit Machine’ swiftly lays down its influences, goes about the job of effortlessly transcending them and comes out sounding like nothing more guileless than a stupendously catchy pop single, three beaming cherries of tongue-in-cheek, hand-down-pants fun. It’s the sound of a woman being wooed who realises, once the cash has run out, she’s been taken for a ride. Not good news for the gents with more money than sense, or indeed, anyone with an innate sense of fairness. But a fine thing for anyone who digs gloating, righteous grrrl-pop that barks “Turn your pockets out onto the street/Now you see you’ve spent it all on me!”, thumbs its nose in your face, and clearly doesn’t care what you think. Elsewhere, there’s great Le Tigre-style backing yelps, some sort of laser gun battle during the guitar solo, and the whole thing builds to the sort of climax that makes you think, “Two people did this? The clever, clever bastards.” In short, give The Ting Tings your money. They might be thankless, but by God they deserve it.