In the UK we’re used to American bands decamping to England when their native country doesn’t appreciate them. Venus Bogardus have made the rare move of travelling in the opposite direction. They have an unusual name too, which comes from a character in ‘The Beebo Brinker Chronicles’; a set of lesbian pulp fiction novels from the 1950’s and 1960’s. ‘Spitting At The Glass’, their third album but first since moving to the US, celebrates all things no-wave.
Gothic guitars and frantic vocals dominate ‘Judy Davis Lips’; an opener which is brimming with intensity. ‘Flat Planes’ is sharper and contains even more hooks whilst ‘Scatter’ nods to the grunge movement. Proving these are no flukes, ‘Permanent Notice’ and ‘Exiles’ have great edgy choruses too. However, towards the end of the record the detuned guitar/scuzzy rock style begins to lose momentum and the eighteen minutes of ‘Brett Smiley Pile-Up’ is a real exercise in endurance that seems to last even longer.
Although rather dry and seemingly lacking in emotion, Venus Bogardus are canny enough to embellish most of these songs with neat melodic hooks. These qualities alone should make ‘Spitting At The Glass’ well worthy of investigation for fans of both post-punk and Sonic Youth.