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Casual Sex: The Bastard Beat EP (We Can Still Picnic)

Casual Sex

Casual Sex

The Bastard Beat EP

(We Can Still Picnic)

As someone whose musical coming-of-age took place in the late 1970s/early 1980s, I reckon this five-track EP by Glasgow quartet Casual Sex was duty bound to unleash a powerful series of flashbacks: Tom Tom Club inviting a young Edwyn Collins into the studio (Nothing On Earth), The Cramps soaking Tequila in reverb (The Sound Of Casual Sex), Bauhaus breaking up Bela Lugosi's guitar (Then Again) and, most brazenly, The Fall looping around in a John Peel session (What's Your Daughter For?). It doesn't do the songs justice simply to point fingers at obvious influences, however; this sexy but far from casual fusion of post-disco basslines and post-punk rhythms is topped off by Sam Smith's Scot-pop croaky croon, making it fit the same 21st-century ballpark as Franz Ferdinand (whose US tour dates they shared) while simultaneously reaching further back in time to secure an authenticity of its own. The band's potential is definitely there for all to hear on the title track, which is as effortlessly cool a composition as I've heard this year from anyone on home turf.

Alan Morrison

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