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Tse Tse Fly



If you're one of the very few who's heard of Leeds, England's Tse Tse Fly, it's probably only by association, because some of the band's members later became involved with higher profile Leeds groups The Wedding Present and Cinerama. It's a shame though, because the group recorded some great music during their brief tenure at the front end of the '90s. That they're a Leeds band is quite evident; their dark but melodic songs bear more than a passing resemblance to not only The Wedding Present, but also Boyracer and Hood. Their thick, moody sound is based around a warm trebly bass, slightly frantic needly guitars, and hazy production. Even during Tse Tse Fly's noisiest moments, their songs possess a soothingly insulated quality, as if they were coming to you while you sleep. This combination of dreaminess and urgency is one of most appealing and distinctive qualities about the group. Also particularly striking is the vocal baton passing, from features earnest, rhythmic male singing and celestial, free-floating female singing, usually during the same song, along with very original gauzy harmonies. In all, Tse Tse Fly offered an engaging and unique combination of dark pop melodics and guitar-based indie rock dissonance.

Fortunately there were people at the Bay Area-based Pehr label who remembered Tse Tse Fly, so the label reissued much of the band's output as a single self-titled CD. The album features Tse Tse Fly's 1992 debut nine-song 10-inch, Duckweed Smuggled Home and their first seven-inch, Fox Under Diesel, a six-song effort from 1993, along with four previously unreleased tracks. Not featured are the two EPs Tse Tse Fly and an LP, Mudflat Joey, recorded on Cherry Red Records.

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