Cruising is an Irish post-punk supergroup, with its four members living in Belfast and Dublin. Frontwoman Benni Johnston (vocals) used to be in a Dublin post-punk band called Logikparty, who disbanded in 2012 after a couple of records. Claire Miskimmin (guitar/bass) is still active as the bassist for the amazing Belfast band Girls Names, who released a new EP Zero Triptych in May and have a new album Arms Around a Vision coming out in October. Neil Brogan used to play in Girls Names and is now the guitarist and singer in the Belfast indie-pop band Sea Pinks. Sarah Grimes (drums) also plays in the Dublin noise/post-punk band September Girls.
Due to the schedules of each of those other bands, and the fact that this is the “side project” for everyone except Johnston, the band doesn’t get much time to play shows or even to rehearse. Specifically, as crazily busy as Girls Names has been, it’s kind of a miracle that this EP even came into being.
I didn’t know anything about this side project until I read a little article in NME :10 Essential August Releases You Might Have Missed. The article simply described the EP like this:
howling post-punk, shadowy psych and pop hooks that results in something equally buoyant and brooding
And that was good enough for me. But with no embedded songs, I had to seek it out. This was another of many times when the first five seconds of the first song I listened to completely exceeded the very high expectations that I had.
The band certainly sounds like the sum of its parts, which should be no surprise. In a weird, but not-so-weird way, some of the songs remind me of Blondie. In fact, the first few bars of today’s song sound a bit like the guitar in “One Way or Another”.
This is that song
“You Made Me Do That” by Cruising
Like “One Way Or Another”, the guitar on this is played using a lot of upstrokes and perhaps as few as two chords. Throughout the EP, there’s a lot of repetition of structure. I don’t want to suggest that it’s a bad thing, though. At the end of the day, this is a collection of really good songs.
The initial pressing of the EP was on hot pink vinyl, and it sold out very quickly. A second press was done on regular black vinyl, and will be available from September 4. You can pre-order that from Rough Trade here, or you can buy a digital download from eMusic or Amazon or even iTunes.