This is a review of "Pouche" recorded by Mama Scuba. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2000.
After reaching no 24 in the national indie charts earlier this year with their debut release on Siamese chinS Records ("Snow"), a single that also made the band Radio One's "Unsigned Session of the Week" things appear to be going from strength to strength. This is a band who have that amazing knack of being able to write some bloody amazing pop songs and then wrap them all up in a twist of guitars and effects. Their follow-up EP is no different for the Scubas.
Do you remember (how could you not) when Supergrass were taking on the music world? They had a sort of ethic and delivery in their music, one that Mama Scuba seemed to have taken note of. Although musically they are different, the similarity is that Supergrass came through by writing some pretty alternative "indie songs" but inside the packages were very pure "pop songs". Songs that could not fail to hold their arms out pulling in onlookers; after just one listen they'd hooked all sorts of kids who'd have otherwise run a mile at the hint of "liking a guitar band".
"Pouche" is still, and probably always was, a Top of the Pops song. It may be deep, layered and have something else going on each time you play it, but it's just that "something" that makes me think this is the track I've been waiting to hear all year. And this comes after "Snow" almost blew me away in April.
As with their previous release, the EP becomes more experimental on the subsequent tracks. "Jelly, Maps and Keys" could quite easily have been the lead song, but in "Pouche" they'd dealt their trump card already. It's more laden with effects, over the vocals and the guitars - but does still contain that "pop song" ideal. "You're a long time dead, so what's the hurry?" closes the CD and is as strange as its title.
Enough said, except to add that the CD also has a video and game on it - the final twist and Mama Scuba have just brought rock and roll into the 21st Century. Oh, how I like this. True.