The Don'ts & Be Carefuls: "Color TV"

Download (2010)

By George Bass | 27 January 2010

Ignore the drug leaflet/PSA spelling: punctuation’s accidental with the Don’ts & Be Carefuls. Clearly incensed by the work hours they’ve missed due to compulsory Office Orientation training, the DBCs have put out Risk Assessment, a debut EP that’s “a six-song block of accessible yet complex danceable plastique with a grit reminiscent of the Pixies.” The DBCs do a mighty fine job of capturing that band’s early vitriol—“Color TV” even harks back to the zeitgeist of their Surfer Rosa (1988) glory days. And yet there’s an original shimmer to the track; enough guts to lift it from imitator horseplay and let it overtake Big Frank on the water (he and his mind are still swimming in the Caribbean).

The “Color TV” of the title is the thick ear you might get from asking dad for a channel change—only this time, you get to return his “If you don’t like the racing you can piss off up to the park” tied to a wasps’ nest of new wave. The Deep Purple bass line, the kick drum akin to a hatchback from hell, and the feedback guitar line from a bag of walkie-talkies all spearhead one mean batch of weaponry, the voice like graffiti on the side of a launch tube as it pumps off bombs into the desert. ““All your friends, all your friends / Just want to start a scene / Well Mary-Anne will hold her head up high / ‘Cos she’s done this once before / Friends crawled on the floor / All she ever did was save your sorry life,” howls Casey Banker, the rabbit-punch percussion and volleyball hooks echoing fellow youngsters the Drums—but only if they’d been mugged a couple of times first. Regardless of Pixie/Drum yardsticks, “Color TV” comes only mildly dressed in misogyny, and balances the strife with genuine teen believing that might just help save this decade. It’s January. There’s time. Let’s go surfing.

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