Betty & The Werewolves, Teatime Favourites
An irresistible, pitch-perfect indie-pop debut
If Teatime Favourites is any indication, there appears to be a full-blown indie-pop renaissance afoot in London. Scrappier than their peers in Standard Fare, who released this year’s charmingly wide-eyed The Noyelle Beat, and brasher than fellow scenesters Allo, Darlin', Betty & The Werewolves nail the under-explored spot where The Runaways meet Tallulah Gosh.
Lead singer Laura McMahon is equally adept at brassy shouting (see the yelping sing-along chorus to "Euston Station" of "I don’t want dinner and a movie/I just want someone to move me") and breathy wistfulness, as on the contemplative "Good as Gold." In the best indie-pop tradition, she makes slyly observed pop out of the mundane stuff around her; "Purple Eyes" is about receiving obscure mix tapes from an admirer, while "David Cassidy" is a dreamy, sung-into-a-hairbrush ode to the 1970s pinup star. The three women — Laura, Helen Short on bass and keyboards, and Emily Bennett on guitar — harmonize sweetly and ever-so-slightly off-key, while Doug McFarlane drums with the motoring insistence of Green Day’s Tre Cool, propelling each chorus into anthemic fist-pumper territory. The result combines the sweet neurosis of Love Is All, the gum-popping cool of Vivian Girls, and the confrontational edge of the Long Blondes into an irresistible and pitch-perfect indie-pop debut.