The Cool Greenhouse

Reviews

The Cool Greenhouse The Cool Greenhouse LP

If you’re already hip to this name via the London and Landlords singles or Crap Cardboard Pet EP (the latter making the COOL GREENHOUSE, to date, the only British act to have been released on Lumpy Records, which seems like it counts for something even if I don’t know what exactly), then you’ll know it’s not a band but a person, Tom Greenhouse, with a drum machine. No longer! Here is The Cool Greenhouse, a debut album which turns the COOL GREENHOUSE into a full group, human drummer and all. It’s a bit more hi-fi than Tom’s previous outings, but still agreeably shonky, with the fucked-sounding garage organ remaining in place (now played by Merlin Nova, daughter of THIS HEAT’s Charles Hayward, dynasty fans). Foremost, though, the sense is of a vehicle for Tom’s lyrical outlook: there are a lot of words here, and with most songs between three and five minutes things could have dragged if his verbal rambles didn’t take so many sharp turns and drop multiple inspired lines. A peach of an album upholding the legacy of Jonathan Richman, the FALL, ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER, the YUMMY FUR, the COUNTRY TEASERS and the totality of early ’80s UKDIY.

The Cool Greenhouse Crap Cardboard Pet 10″

Expert antagonism courtesy of this standout UK act. Prior compact offerings were fine/dandy, but the patient stretching of the material here (no song shorter than five minutes, one approaching ten) really showcase the motivations of these CGs: repetition in the spirit of The FALL, with the same sort of roundabout accusatory bitterness to boot. The COOL GREENHOUSE move beyond purely referential tribute though, taking these cues further than comfort permits, especially via the synthetic hypnosis of “Crap Art,” which is maybe the most brilliant tune of this year. Limited to a scant 200 copies, all of which include an actual crap cardboard pet. A must-have release from every angle—highest recommendation.