THE PUDDLE: Playboys In The Bush
By Ania Glowacz
The Puddle, along with only a handful of other bands, are survivors from the Flying Nun era. With their Nun catalogue (1986-1993) well out of print, they have released only two other albums prior to this one – ‘No Love, No Hate’ (2007) and ‘The Shakespeare Monkey’ in 2009, both home recorded. Legend precedes The Puddle, but there is a reason behind reputation when a band is consistently good (albeit rough around the edges) over 25 years. Essentially the vehicle of George D. Henderson, roping in various comrades over the years. For the recording of their first proper ‘studio album’ it was the effort of one-time sax player/student now producer Richard Steele to see justice done to The Puddle vision, along with Mike Gibson at Inca Studios. With two dozen songs recorded in three days, and half of them ending up on here, I’d say this document is well overdue! Others have used ‘indie pop’, ‘guitar pop’, ‘drone pop’; whilst the band’s own description on MySpace is lounge/psychedelic/surf. It’s vaguely Bats-ish, maybe Pavement – a rollicking cohesive swagger, quirky yet very comfortable with itself. Like the best bits of Flying Nun. Emphasis on lurid simplicity, curly Q&A, unexpected nuance in amongst the somewhat twisted innocence and pure iron (sic). Beautiful cover art by Tanya Hoarfrost, especially if gorgeous frolicking nymphs is your thing. Get it.