Playing Both Sides review from the Quietus

  • Airfix Kits live in Oakland but sound like a British band. This is partly because their singer, Allan McNaughton, is a Glaswegian ex-pat; but also because their songs are winningly jagged and calcified, the sound of the slow bleed from Wire and Gang Of Four circa their first LPs to the mid-80s Britshambles that John Robb just did a book about (Big Flame, Bogshed etc). The cover art to ‘Playing Both Sides’, their new seven on Dirtnap, is a photo of two youngsters leaning over their cans of Oranjeboom to get off with each other in a takeaway. ANY 11” PIZZA ONLY £2.90 tells you the location, and perhaps that of McNaughton’s head. His previous band, Giant Haystacks, sounded pretty similar to this minus the Oi-ish vocal backups; they were superb and if they had had even the slightest interest in ‘getting big’, it probably would have happened. Likewise Airfix Kits; I mean, post-punk is like totally over and McNaughton is probably sick of imbeciles in bars telling him his accent is really hot and just like the guy from Franz Ferdinand, but… he writes killer pop songs.

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