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I dug Portland, OR noise-pop foursome The Honus Huffhines’ 2014 second LP Feel Safe, Be Safe; The Swindon Lot is their singer/multi-instrumentalist Andy Giegerich’s solo project (it’s named for a put-down line from The Office UK manager David Brent after their Slough-based branch’s merger with rivals Swindon; I take it that means Brent is not a big XTC fan?). Their bio lists the Flying Nun label, Elephant 6 collective, and Wizzard as influences, and all three are evident on the oddly-titled garage stomper “Racing Wheel Alma Mater/Teri Waters/Terry Watters,” horn-flecked, psychedelic “Don’t Laugh,” and bouncy, shambolic “Checking Out the Unrequiteds,” each highlighting Giegerich’s off-pitch yet full-throated, Jello Biafra-tinged croon. But that E6 quirkiness and whimsy – think Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, or Elf Power – is more blatant on the sparer second half, as the noisy folk of “They Will, Yes, Fail You” (whose lyrics come from a 2014 John W. Barrios book, Here Comes the New Joy), the lo-fi doo-wop of “Grift,” and Roto Rooter-like jingle “Four Janes and a Jeff” confirm.
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