Before we even started talking to the band, about their music and the brand new release of their latest 5 track EP From Scarborough to Akihabara, we had a feeling that TMC would be a group of people we'd get on well with. After all, there was no messing around with the conversation opener from the band's very own Robert Haubus...
Haubus: Is Third Outing a reference to The Cribs' debut album closer?
Third Outing: Yeah it's an homage to the last song on that record, a scrappy song but with the best intentions, thought it described our site quite well!
Haubus: That's brilliant! Comfortably my favourite band. Can easily forgive the scrappiness of Third Outing, exactly the kind of song teenagers in Wakefield should be releasing.
...from then on we knew nothing could go wrong. If a band has a decent taste in music, then that's half the battle, right? Right. The other half is how they live up to it. Call it the old 'suit' or 'square' argument, but sometimes you just know that a band is going to be decent and actually live by what they say. That's exactly how TMC portray themselves...
TMC's first EP release entitled From Scarborough to Akihabara is very strong. So much so you wouldn't believe that it has come so early in the band's formation. Self-admittedly a 'Lo-Fi' Indie band, there are some nice comparisons to The Cribs that can be made of TMC. Not for their music, but for their attitude. They are a little scrappy, and it's rough around the edges, but that's just the execution. In good Cribs fashion they've taken their best 5 tracks, laid them down, and got them out.
"The decline of British seaside resorts means that Scarborough represents our grittier, moodier side, while Akihabara in Tokyo represents our aim to write a perfect, Be My Baby-esque classic".
The song writing on the record is very good. It kicks off with Left Behind, a track with a warming, bitter juxtaposition about it, where B-Vox and glockenspiel bring what would be a melancholic experience back around. It's a theme which continues throughout the record, with a similar feel on Every Other Time.
But for us there is a song which blows the rest out of the water. Maybe We'll Swim is THE standout moment on this record. Remember when Pete Doherty and Alan Wass went all jazz on his solo release with Sweet By and By? It's just like that. But newer. That's a compliment, and the same kind of goes for Nothing Toulouse.
From Scarborough To Akihabara comes to a close with There's method To Our Radness. We're glad this is last on the EP because we think it shows true signs of where TMC's sound is going. It's where the band sound most relaxed, so to hear the track fade out with the voices of laughing and out-of-tune singing, well, it couldn't leave you with a better feeling.
The rumours of the band's second release at summer's end are more than welcome, but right now it's time to listen to what TMC have to offer for yourself. Check out the new EP below and follow it up with the quick wit of TMC's Robert Haubus in conversation with Third Outing. Enjoy...
Hello Robert! Tell us about TMC and how it started, and where it will end?
We formed the band after university when we moved back to Stafford and realised that all of our respective band mates had moved away. We were both bassists and couldn't resist the opportunity to play better instruments and record ourselves. I think the unspoken rule is that the band will end, happily, when we have a song as good as Super Trouper.
Is the best way to describe your music as something somewhere between Scarborough and Akihabara? Which place, in your opinion, is better?
I think that's a good analogy. The majority of music we listen to is either fairly Lo-Fi indie or timeless Pop songs. While both places are associated with fun and innocence, I suppose the decline of British seaside resorts means that Scarborough represents our grittier, moodier side, while Akihabara in Tokyo represents our aim to write a perfect, Be My Baby-esque classic.
Akihabara is dominated by maid cafes and the brilliant manga/anime teen subcultures. People there have the complete freedom to express themselves with immunity from judgement or embarrassment - helps us to dust off when we fail at the aim and encourages us to stick with lyrics which may be over-personal or just seem a bit naff at first. While I had many a good childhood holiday in Scarborough, I think it would take remarkable stubbornness to claim it still has the edge over Tokyo
Is there any Stafford music scene for you to fit into, then?
There are some super talented people in Stafford who have been hindered by a lack of a suitable venue for years. Pretty much everyone we know who formed bands in their teens in Stafford has moved away. They're also closing the university campus, so the lack of young people moving to the area means I can't imagine a thriving music scene appearing any time soon.
The one positive from the lack of a Stafford music scene is that it means bands are really proud and creative when they put their own shows on. There are a couple of tiny venues which we love playing at and we always make sure old bands reunite for an annual Christmas show. We've just hired a church for this year's which we are very excited about.
It's all sounding so good. What does the future hold?
We've just released our first EP and we already have the next one recorded which we will release late in the summer. The first two years of the band were spent solely recording for our own enjoyment and as a result there's quite a few old songs that we'd love to record with the settled line up. We're planning a physical release of some sort of compilation, and then we'll gig around that as much as possible at the end of the year.