No. 20: They Launched A Probe - The Winter Olympics
It was really hard to pick a highlight from Profit & Loss, especially as ‘I Miss The Nineties’ was very much a 2011 song for me*. ‘They Launched A Probe’ sits in the middle of the record and highlights The Winter Olympics when they’re being both epic and brilliant.
*Because it opened the Keep Pop Loud compilation CD - obviously.
We shouldn’t really be surprised that The Guardian hasn’t taken to Profit & Loss, the fantastic debut album from The Winter Olympics. Along with the rest of web music criticism it’s keen to praise and lavish attention on the modern day equivalents of dinosaur rock bands. The the dull, pretentious, and pointless music of the ageing hipster’s coffee table. Of course there’s no room for an album that is fully in love with music and the possibilities of the great pop song.
Profit & Loss is these things.
The Winter Olympics sing about music as all good music fans would. The opening song, ‘Regional Showcase’, is a tongue in cheek look at forming bands and spending a lifetime on the fringes, whilst recent single ‘I Prefer The Early Stuff’ shouts about the music that’s made with love. There’s a sense of humour that runs throughout that is sorely missing from Pitchforkian alternative music right now, and it’s why this is a record that people like us will take to their hearts and play on repeat.
You’ll know ‘I Miss The Nineties’ by now. It’s one that Keep Pop Loud loved so much it opened it’s first ever release with. It’s a great example of the sound The Winter Olympics offer. Huge pop with rock guitars and lyrics that head straight for the brain and spend the next year perpetually whizzing around. It’s a classic, but perhaps not the best they’ve got.
‘They Launched a Probe’ is an unexpected treat, surging through on great waves of synths and yearning vocals. It brings to mind a time not too long past where music contained a sense of optimism, where you could listen and believe that both you and the band could achieve anything. They used to call that sort of thing “life-affirming”.
Style-wise you could argue that the album is a little disjointed with riffing rock such as ‘This Is the Fourth Time (I Have Been In Your House)’ differing wildly from the dance punk of ‘Attention All Departments’. Yet, by the time the stadium slaying closer ‘Heavy Metal Ending’ falls into place the whole thing makes so much sense.
Music doesn’t just pulse through the veins of The Winter Olympics it buzzes around their brains colouring their hopes and giving form to their expectations. They love their records, and not so they can build them into sound collages. With Profit & Loss they’ve added to the cannon of great pop music for pop nerds - and we’re all that at heart.
The Verdict: One of the best albums of 2012. Buy it.
With a limited number of CDs in recycled clothing packaging still available, you can treat your ears to 15 tracks of amazing indiepop before you buy.
Art Brut’s Eddie Argos brings the glam rock with Glam Chops massive ‘Tarzan’s Glam Rock Adventure’. Dogs Die In Hot Cars’ ‘Beauty US’ is the insight into the second album that never was. There’s even a brand new song from MJ Hibbett! About comics!
As Keep Pop Loud Records prepares to re-launch itself with a fab single artist release, now is the time to get in on the indiepop action… before it’s sold out FOREVER!
01. The Winter Olympics – I Miss The Nineties 02. BLESSA – Atlas 03. MJ Hibbett – 2000AD Nan 04. The Half Rabbits – Gasoline 05. Bordeauxxx – Every Holiday Is A Disaster 06. Screaming Maldini – Monkey See Badger Do (New Version) 07. Dogs Die In Hot Cars – Beauty US 08. Pocket Satellite – Man On A Boat 09. Kidnapper Bell – Everything Ever 10. Best Friends – Surf Bitches 11. Pris – Icon On A Motorbike 12. Among Brothers – Bare Teeth 13. Twenty Three Persons – Something Colin Wore 14. H Bird – A Millionairess In A Ruby Ring 15. Glam Chops (featuring The Panther Girls & The Glitter Twins) - Tarzan’s Glam Rock Adventure