It makes sense that Du Blonde’s third album was written on a guitar given to her by Curb Your Enthusiasm actor Jeff Garlin. It’s a record laced with a sardonic sense of humour – check out the pounding ‘Smoking Me Out’, on which a warped, Evil Dead-style voice gleefully declares of a lover: “Together we make one sordid burger of human meat!” – and one whose author seems to revel in the joyful anarchy of not quite fitting in. “Didn’t think I’d be 30, broke and happy,” she grins on the freewheeling ‘Ducky Daffy’ (perhaps so named to give Warner lawyers’ Google Alerts the slip), summing up this explosively optimistic album in one balloon drop of a line.
Born in Newcastle, now based between LA and London, Beth Jeans Houghton released one tasteful alt-folk album under her own name, 2012’s ‘Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose’, before transforming into abrasive guitar hero Du Blonde for 2015’s angular art-rocker ‘Welcome Back To Milk’ – the indie equivalent of being bitten by a radioactive spider. 2019’s grungy ‘Lung Bread For Daddy’, though, was the real revelation; a sugar-rush of crunching power chords and fizzing pop hooks, a sound she washes down with glittery glam rock on the celebratory ‘Homecoming’.
Yes, restrictions are easing and Du Blonde’s throwing a party. You’re on the guestlist, along with her norm-busting indie-punk compadre Ezra Furman (on the thunderous ‘I’m Glad That We Broke Up’) and fellow ultra-badass Shirley Manson of Garbage (on Pixies-got-good-again belter ‘Medicated’). She’s also invited self-proclaimed feminist punks The Farting Suffragettes, whose raucous backing vocals lift the rollicking ‘I Can’t Help You There’ to giddy new heights. If you’re wondering who brought the whoopie cushion, it was probably them.
‘Lung Bread For Daddy’ was an often dark meditation on the ageing process, but here Du Blonde has thrown off the fear and self-loathing to enjoy the ride. Or as she shrugs on ‘I Can’t Help You There’: “I’ve been a queen; I’ve been a king / And still I don’t fit in.” Cue an explosive singalong chorus from The Farting Suffragettes. Things even get a bit classic rock on the anthemic ‘All The Way’, which features Ride’s Andy Bell, but this self-produced and self-released record is DIY punk through-and-through. Like Sleaford Mods’ ‘Eton Alive’, the album opens with a belch, a Curb-worthy moment of comic timing that tells you how much fun Du Blonde’s having as she lets it all hang out.
Release date: April 2
Record label: Daemon T.V