Queer fish, Johnny 1992. Baggy had twisted its melon dry and was taking the eternal comedowndisco nap, and the puzzle that was shoegaze was comprehensively solved by My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, so the 12 months before Suede summoned Britpop with a flick of their fringes was an indie Wild West. Fragglers, crusties, bedsit poets and bands called things like New Fast Automatic Daffodils flourished, the Wedding Present equaled Elvis’s record of 12 hits in a year, and the success of the Wonder Stuff allowed all manner of semi-comic oddities to get taken semi-seriously. The Frank & Walters, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Sultans Of Ping F.C.
The latter were bunch of nasal Cork pop-punks who shot to fame on the back of Where’s Me Jumper?, a song juxtaposing discussions of Marxist philosophy and the horror of mislaying a pullover that was of frankly disproportionate importance to their entire family. Their 1993 debut album Casual Sex In The Cineplex was barely more sombre. Merging Buzzcocks punk, Weddoes thrash, Stuffies knees-up hooks and Carter USM alt.rants, it’s a fun assortment of indie pop novelties about football, karaoke, S&M and knitwear that is well worth a revisit for its strumbling odes to punching below your weight (2 Pints Of Rasa, Veronica), the JD Sports drone rock of Back In The Tracksuit and invigorating indie janglers like Stupid Kid and You Talk Too Much, but most of all to drift back to the days when we didn’t have to take everything so damn seriously.