A horrible hack

Little League - Pure Graft


Year Released: 2011
Format: 7"
Label: Specialist Subject
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Dec 3, 2011
I am repeatedly confusing Little League with the UK's Sunday League, mostly because of the name, not because of how they sound. Anyway, this is the first release I have picked up with Little League on. I think they have a few demos and things knocking around, but this is their first vinyl. And what a debut! "Hey, Feet" is a supreme effort, effortlessly mixing up the stubborn chug of Small Brown Bike with the moody grace of midwest emo along the lines of Farewell Bend. No shit! I was pretty dumb stuck too. Little League score bonus points for not having gruff vocals, in fact the vocals are spot on, strong but drifting, holding syllables where necessary for extra effect. The guitars switch between repetetive chug and smarter moments, combining to produce that patented midwestmo effect of cruising along like a mile long freight train. "Swiss Stories" has a similar feel, although doesn't quite have the same result. This one is a bit like the early Firebird stuff that Chris Broach did after Braid. Suffice to say, I am extremely keen to hear a Little League LP at this point.

Pure Graft though I'm afraid don't measure up. Whilst Little League's brave flouting of even a niche genre's popular elements is refreshing, the rather more standard gruffness on display here grates a bit. However, Pure Graft do try and mix things up beyond the bog standard Fest template. There are some very brief moments that are kind of Marshall Teller, which is redeeming and the second song "Plover" is pretty cool, the metal licks they have going on both tracks are significantly better on this one. Also the recording here is very much demo level, a little more care wouldn't have gone amiss for a vinyl release.

Gets the blue badge entirely for Little League. Check those dudes out!

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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