Table Scraps – Autonomy

Table Scraps – Autonomy

You might not have heard very much about it yet, but punk pock is, very definitely, back. From out of nowhere in particular an entire subculture of bands has emerged in the last two or so years. Groups whose defining characteristic is calling themselves ‘punk’ regardless of their own takes on the basic three and a half chord basic song structures, which more or less everyone thinks of whenever the phrase ‘punk rock’ is mentioned. And somewhere at the forefront of this new new wave are Table Scraps, a Midlands trio making virtually the sort of music that you’d expect – fast, loud and uncomplicated songs with titles like “Sick Of Me”, “I’m A Failure” and “Treat Me Like Shit”.

Part of a growing number of similar outfits whose efforts are gaining attention away from the fanzines, bands that are often known by one-word names, such as Idles, Shame and Slaves, Table Scraps are making music that, while it at first hearing appears uncomplicated and even basic, contains an undercurrent of studio and musicianly sophistication that raises it above the ordinary, a bit like the second Ramones album.

Inevitably, as none of Table Scraps were actually alive at the time, Autonomy¬†owes less to The Damned, Clash and Pistols and perhaps more to the recently-heard Flats, Gallows, The Subways and others. There is also the powerdriven road-trip sound of BRMC reverberating somewhere in the background, and one or two moments of surreal invention that only Table Scraps themselves could have created. This isn’t an exercise in free-flowing experimentalism and intricate song structures, however. What you see is very much what you get with Table Scraps, and the songs on Autonomy¬†are every bit as uncompromising and frenetic as you’d expect.

The thing about calling your band ‘punk’ today is that it inevitably sets up any number of expectations amongst the audience, and Table Scraps bring an authentically lo-fi sound that, when it’s added to thrashy power-pop tunes such as “Always Right” should satisfy even the most clinical ’77 purist. Then when the harder rock side of Table Scraps makes itself heard, as on “Takin’ Out The Trash”, and the grimy headbang that is “More Than You Need Me”, it begins to seem that glam-tinged boogie is what Table Scraps are really about. And lastly, “Do It All Over Again” could have been written in 1976 and released as a B-side by one of those now forgotten early indie bands whose singles were on labels with names such as Chiswick and Step Forward. “Nostalgia’s not what it used to be and neither am I,” runs the chorus of Autonomy‘s finale, but Table Scraps have quite definitely earned their encore.

Zen Ten