The first Stagecoach release to come out on a label other than Alcopop!, double A side 'Jonah Lomu' / 'Tony Hawk' is two utterly brilliant tracks of punked up slacker pop that showcases Stagecoach at their best.
Basically this is mastery not only over the form of pop music but also of popular culture as a whole. Dropping references left, right and centre Stagecoach are a perfect product of the generation that we grew up in. One where the elements in film, TV and computer games are as much a part of the hyper-reality of existence as the everyday. Here Tony Hawk is a game rather than an actual person, whilst blasters are referenced as nonchalantly as if Stagecoach were inside the Star Wars galaxy.
But of course, we could be reading far too much into things there. 'Jonah Lomu' opens with a fuzzed up riff that recalls early Weezer, whilst the “woo-ooo-ooo-oooh” come from the same place as Blur's self titled record. Yes, there's more than a touch of pop-punk present, but it's something that when deployed this skilfully is utterly joyous. Despite being about bullying. Hmmm...
On the flip-side is 'Tony Hawk', a biting attack on privileged Uni students who throw away an opportunity on playing Tony Hawk games all day. With a stop-and-start chorus it begs for there to be fists in the air at festivals and it's something that we're more than happy to comply with.
Basically Stagecoach are going to own this summer. If you're not onto them yet then this forthcoming single on (the always brilliant) This Is Fake DIY is the perfect place to start. But you might as well go and pick up their two EPs right now too!
Jonah Lomu by stagecoachuk