Kids In Glass Houses/Crimesss

Kids In Glass Houses/Crimesss

Two of south Wales' finest gather in an NME readers kitchen for a house party that no-one will ever forget. Jen Long’s House, Cardiff (August 27).

You know those American coming-of-age movies where slap-bang in the middle of some kid’s house party, there’s a pop-punk band losing their shit amid a set of adolescence-defining sentiments and scissor-kicks? Purely Hollywood fantasy, right? Not around Cardiff way. On the 20-city voyage of discovery conducted in the name of this year’s NME Indie Map Of Britain And Ireland, reader Jen Long is laying on quite a housewarming to break in her new semi in the Welsh capital.

With revellers bursting from crockery cupboards, hanging off door-frames and wedging themselves into every wipe-clean crevice imaginable, it’s a physics-defying feat even getting the bands into the room. Having just made the final touches to their non-second-album second album (no, we don’t get it either), members of Los Campesinos! are suddenly hogging the hob. Frontman Gareth, bassist Ellen and drummer Ollie jostle as guitarist Neil unleashes the debut airing of his new side-project, Crimesss. Tapping into the post-hardcore bratty sneer that watermarked Los Camp’s more dissonant turns, suddenly his main band’s Black Flag covers make splendid new sense.

Kids In Glass Houses, meanwhile, serve up a scrumptious slice of glistening American-alike pop-punk pie. While, on paper, the pitch of five boyos pillaging the tomb of every big-shorted, flesh-tunnelled hero of yore with a 2008 Uniqlo makeover sounds abhorrent, in practice, these unapologetically emotional cherry-bombs are flooring. The fact that it’s hard to tell the difference between the various Movielife covers and their own tunes is probably the ultimate compliment. With guitarist Iain on his back, writhing down the hallway in spasms of elation, knocking onlookers flying, the night draws to a climactic end. Just as well, the landlord’s on the phone…

Jaimie Hodgson