A refreshingly upbeat-sounding Neutrals close out the SLR30 series of singles released by Slumberland Records to celebrate 3 decades in the business. Along with UK band Flowers‘ Erik 7″, Neutrals’ quick, breezy Personal Computing ends a run that has included singles by Failed Flowers, Odd Hope, Dolly Dream and Wildhoney among many others.
Where Neutrals’ first release this year – April’s Rent/Your House EP – channelled some of the gloomier recesses of UK post-punk (think Joy Division, The Jam and even, to an extent, current day practitioners like Sleaford Mods), Personal Computing nerds out, expanding on their Kebab Disco LP’s California-based flipside by adding twee vocal harmonies and jangle-pop elements more redolent of C86 bands and Scottish frontman Allan McNaughton’s fellow countrymen The Vaselines.
At once nostalgic and hopeful, Personal Computing is a fortuitously fitting way to put the seal on Slumberland’s big year. Full of fuzzing old tech and dusty manuals, the single’s title track finds its pleasure in futures past. When the Washington, DC label launched in December 1989 they will have done so with the “obsolete machines” McNaughton sings about as the height of automation. If, back then, they ever permitted themselves to dream of the celebrations they might have thirty years later, they cannot have expected the entire planet and its aspirations would be stuck on an interminable “load” screen.
Stream “Personal Computing” below and pre-order the 7″ here.