Despite convincing myself that The Neat is the single greatest band the world has ever known, I was a little apprehensive when I discovered that they were to release 'New Kids' as their third single. It's not a bad song by any means (indeed hearing it live had me in fits of giddy excitement), but the initial recording which surfaced late last year seemed to have jettisoned practically everything I'd grown to love about the Hull oddballs. Smooth, cumbersome and infuriatingly restrained, it appeared they'd finally succumbed to their inaugural misstep, a realisation which struck my fanboy heart like a ton of lead bricks.
Now that the single has been released, though, the outlook is decidedly different. Re-recorded since the addition of guitarist Nick Green, 'New Kids' is a track reborn, standing proudly alongside 'In Youth Is Pleasure' as a defining exhibition of The Neat's madcap brilliance. Tossing aside any semblance of studio polish and letting their impulsive instincts run wild, the quartet have struck a near perfect balance between the angular post punk grime and surreal comedic bursts which have come to define their sound. Effortlessly superlative and improving with each new release, I really should never have doubted them.
What's more, its release is the band's first with Frankie & The Heartstrings' Pop Sex Ltd label, and the package could scarcely be more sublime. As well as housing Mr Beasley's dub-heavy remix of 'Good In Bed' as a B-side, each hand numbered CD comes complete with a pair of badges and one of frontman Mez's "pornographic postcards," all lovingly presented in a see-through 7" sleeve. What's not to love?!
SUPPORT THE NEAT! You can buy a physical copy of 'New Kids' here. Hurry, though, it's limited to 250 copies. If you're too late, or simply prefer to download, the single is also available on iTunes.