Many (if not most) musicians don’t have a damn thing to say. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Lucky for us (and him), Tom Greenhouse does not have that problem. The frontman of U.K. post-punk outliers The Cool Greenhouse is never at a loss for words on their debut full-length. As his bandmates amateurishly and obsessively crank out two-fingered melodies and dead-simple drum beats, our Tom unleashes a veritable torrent of words — rapid-fire rants and raves or dry deadpan monologues about anything and everything from 4Chan and incels to antique jam and phantom limbs to Margaret Thatcher’s dirty glasses and Yoko Onos on treadmills stretching into infinity. What in the hell is he blathering on about? Honestly, most of the time your guess is as good as mine (if not better). All I can tell you is that whatever he says, his wild verbosity, stream-of-consciousness creativity and converational delivery compel you to listen up and listen good. And to think seriously about putting The Cool Greenhouse on a playlist between The Fall, Sleaford Mods and John Cooper Clarke. That about says it.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but The Cool Greenhouse are about to shatter glass ceilings with their self-titled debut LP. Having caused a stir on the underground DIY label circuit with their inimitable, infectious brand of lo-fi post-punk in 2019, The Cool Greenhouse’s debut album shows off a newly developed, fuller sound, taking their signature style to previously unexplored heights while doubling down on their tried and tested formula of angular motoric riffs and no-holds-barred biting social commentary. The muffled 16-bit drum loops have been replaced with a full kit, the nonchalant vocal delivery has found a new edge and the sparse instrumentation has been augmented by the band’s finally agreeing to leave their bedrooms and enter the studio, yielding a fully realised vision with fresh clarity and depth that makes their earlier recordings seem like mere blueprints. Stubbornly refusing to engage with almost every fundamental musical tool available (the chord, melody, choruses, even the musical change), The Cool Greenhouse have somehow managed to compile an album of eleven songs that often comes astonishingly close to pop. Their attachment to long songs with single hooks that steamroll through their entireties has not abated, but neither has their inexplicable knack for keeping these strange creatures alarmingly engaging and accessible when by all logic they should be irritatingly avant-garde. It shouldn’t work on so many levels, but it absolutely does. A large part of what makes this a winning formula is frontman Tom Greenhouse’s way with words. Frequently topical and clearly political in some sense, Greenhouse’s lyrics side-step the on-the-nose delivery of traditional yawn-inducing political rock in favour of a strange idiosyncratic blend of pop culture snippets, patchwork narratives and oblique literary references. Bursting with humour and irony, the album deftly meanders from Rotary Club jumble sales to Margaret Thatcher’s living room to futuristic voyages into musical VR, taking aim at the gammon classes, rural conservatism and a host of other late-capitalist absurdities with razor-sharp wit along the way.”