PRIYA CARLBERG, singer and wayward guiding light behind the fun as hell and wonderfully weird punk-funk concoction of Birthday Ass, won’t be drawn on the meaning of the title of their latest single drop, “Plubbage Bubbage” which, if you “think it’s fun to say, roll it around your mouth now – best collocation of words since Stump’s “In blubbery Burberry” on “Buffalo”? There’s certainly a case.
“The meaning of the word plubbage is top secret, so I can’t go there,” she says. “This was the first song we had rehearsed for the album and I feel it encapsulates us well,” she continues, “a twist of big band meets Phil Collins.”
She ain’t wrong; if this is your first introduction to the world of Birthday Ass, it’s an absolute riot of shibboleths cast asunder; why not have a big Phil Collins drum break, courtesy Jonathan Starks, when you’re already firmly flicking the Vs at jazz, punk, no wave, &c?
epic, reverb-drenched drum solo. “Plubbage Bubbage” is full of angst, defined by screeching horns and Priya’s deliberately warbly, fierce vocal delivery. Two middle fingers are up, one pointed at academic jazz and the other at punk rock. It has wonk-soul, skronk, The Slits, maybe even a touch of shoegaze? – all sorts let loose in its musical zoo, maybe illustrated by Edward Lear.
We’ve checked their two previous singles en route to the album: “Blah”, which truly gives zero fucks in its pursuit of no-wave fun; and the jagged Bogshedisms of “Summer Toes”. The forthcoming second album, Head Of The Household, will wonkily refresh the parts others can’t reach and promises ten tracks of gloriously, precisely messy no-wave abandon; and if you’ve got a track entitled “Plubbage Blubbage”, how can it possibly be wrong?
Birthday Ass’s Head Of The Household will be released by Ramp Local on April 23rd, digitally and on trad black and limited purple vinyl. Snare yourself a copy over at Bandcamp, here.