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  Litterbug - Speaking Through the Gaps
By High Voltage - Webzine submitted

Currently, Blackpool and the further reaches of Lancashire don’t exactly have the burgeoning music scene of their Yorkshire counterparts, so when signs of creative life do emerge, it’s probably worth a listen. Working their own locale and frequenting Manchester, Litterbug formed as a four-piece to complement the raucous solo writings of Stuart Diggle. And what an interesting unit they make. Tightly formed around Diggle’s guttural, commanding voice are the bizarrely harmonious backings of guitarist Andy and drummer Karima. Unmistakable from the gritting riffs and peculiar vocal contrasts, the key influence here comes from the likes of Pixies and Sonic Youth – most noticeable in the deranged harshness of ‘Open Space’ or the more well-rounded ‘A Simple Contradiction’. Combining channelled noise with melody lines and an off-kilter disposition, there are elements of Pavement to be heard too, but there’s plenty enough character of Litterbug’s own to see them through. As an album however, the critical factor with ‘Speaking Through The Gaps’ is it’s production. Obviously deliberate in the minimal treatment that this recording has received, it’s clear that the result fails to capture the raw edge desired beyond sounding merely amateurish. This could be overlooked in tracks like ‘Smile Is Fake’; where the effects-driven guitars and echoed vocals are eccentric for an instance, but elsewhere the lo-fi severity needed has been overly rushed. Nevertheless, turn up the volume for the closer – ‘Subhuman Scum’ is a darkly visceral crush of layers, showing that this talent will have the endurance to grow. Aspirations aplenty, but missing the target this time. - By Fran Donnelly

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