Quaker Parents – ‘No Crime When Covered In Grime’

Review by Andrew Patterson

Over the last two years, this frenetic pop trio have been allocating their laconic anthems to a series of short-run cassettes. The medium is well suited: each song feels perfectly cramped, overfull with wit and bursting at the seams with clever invention. Their most recent effort, No Crime When Covered In Grime, is a further refinement of all their idiosyncrasies. In the world of the Quakers, no melody is sacred, each hook is disassembled just as you begin to hum along. Each verse self-destructs as the chorus is reached, each chorus is hoisted high and quickly quashed. Every idea is given equal ground and each player is as integral as the next.

Singer Mark Grundy’s words are curious and well-considered; they are full of nuance and nuisances. Consider this brief excerpt from ‘When You Can’t Beat The Dream’: “Writing on the edges of the counter/Counting up the minutes left of light/Lighting all four candles like some alter/Altering the angles so we might/Feel mighty like the power that you spoke of/When even speaking couldn’t get it right”. All of that comes in a terse fifteen seconds, with drummer Scott Grundy patiently building steam in the background and bassist Brad Lahead layering blissful vocal harmonies one atop the other. At it’s apex, the energy and tune totally shift, the rhythm section shrinks to a pulse and the song becomes an arena rock re-imagining; the vocals replaced by what can only be referred to as a ‘tasty lick’.

Quaker Parents are endlessly imaginative, young and hungry; they play each intricate song with a fervency, exploding the tropes of pop with their alluring fulminations. Their songs are dense but never opaque, always immediate. They’re addictive and slippery. Take hold of this ten-minute gem and don’t let go.