Meet Ditches, from Stockholm coming straight out the gutter and speeding into the part of your brain where all the catchiest melodies lurk for the rest of time. This is their debut LP, a frantic collision of powerpop, garage rock and the most addictive of yer favourite punk classics. Think the snot of the Adolescents with JJ O’Neill’s natural way around a melody, or simply recall Jeff Burke of The Marked Men/Radioactivity’s knack for invoking the tartrazine high and the sugar crash at exactly the same time. All these things can be found here, and plenty more besides.
Burke actually shows up on production duties, lending backing vocals where necessary, although while it’s evident that Ditches’ approach shares a certain something with his outfits, they also very clearly sculpt their own universe.
Songs like Stitch Me Up owe as much to high speed pub rockers like The Boys as to the Denton, Texas sound, while there’s a gentle nod to the endlessly memorable hooks of Pete Shelley in their plaintive melodies, as well as a whole lotta stuff that’s fundamentally their own. Mainly though, this is just a thrill ride from start to finish. Get it on your stereo, start pogo-ing and accept you’ll be repeating this for the rest of forever. The best band to come out of Sweden since… ooh, I don’t know. Ebba Grön? Yep, probably.
All songs written and performed by Ditches. Produced by Ditches and Jeff Burke. Recorded and mixed by Jeff Burke. Additional backing vocals on tracks 1 and 9 by Jeff Burke. Mastered by Dave Williams.