Pronto Mama – Lickety Split [Instinctive Racoon]

Pronto Mama is a soulful Glaswegian six-piece who, like much of Scotland’s great new music, come recommended by Radio 1 Introducing’s Ally McCrae.

This EP, recorded as far back as 2012 but unreleased until now, pins a strong Glaswegian burr to melancholic, chiming guitar licks like Robert Smith from The Cure roaming through the east end in search of eyeliner and cigarettes.

Opener ‘Still Swimming’ features strong harmonies that will appeal to fans Wild Beasts, while ‘Safety Net’ sounds like Bombay Bicycle Club returning from holiday to discover someone has slashed their tires, though the song’s sing-along second half suggests Pronto Mama are not just thinking on a micro scale.

‘Fruitloop’ has some of the Libertines ragged energy in its scratchy guitars and rough, mic-too-close vocals though ‘Sheep’ lacks the same coherence, veering from ponderous intro to crunchy guitar chords and back without ever really giving the listener a reason to care.

Maybe Pronto Mama have something interesting to say about our ovine friends, maybe it’s just a dig at Aberdeen, you’re unlikely to play it more than twice to find out.

By contrast ‘One Trick Pony’ demonstrates that the band are anything but, flitting neatly between heartfelt vocals and an energetic finale, powered by explosive drumming.

Closer ‘Balance’ is a fairly standard indie romp, only enlivened by some stately horns but there’s enough here to convince you that there’s plenty of life left in the Glaswegian indie scene.

Words: Max Sefton

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