Authenticity in a Pseudo Cool world!
So, as human beings, I think we can all say with some degree of confident embarrassment that at one point in our lives we have done something just for the sake of looking “cool”. Maybe it was being falsely passionate about an edgy band, keeping a cigarette behind your ear that you have no intention of smoking, or perhaps it was that time you wore your mams ill-fitting leather jacket, that smells like death, thinking you were the epitome of style. We’ve all been there. However, up until recently I was entirely unaware that you could sum up a great deal of my teenage years in 3 syllables with the phrase “Pseudo Cool”.
Aside from being a very useful descriptor, these two words much more importantly make up the name of a very fun, very punk-y 4 piece from Maesteg who came together in 2020 to create some serious tunes. The band itself is made up of siblings Cathy and Lloyd, who play bass and guitar respectively, guitarist Dylan, and drummer Shay. Now, anyone who has had the (mis)fortune of spending time with me knows that I have a crippling soft spot for punk music and I can confidently say that these four humans fully embody all that modern punk can offer. Each track packs a punch with humorous, witty, and observational lyrics delivered by vocalist Cathy who cites the similarly tongue in cheek songwriters Lily Allen and Kirsty McColl as influences. With regards to overall inspiration guitarist Dylan cites a shared passion for classic bands like The Stranglers, The Ramones, and The Buzzcocks as to where their sound comes from.
But ultimately, much like how they came together, and how they got their name, the sound of “Pseudo Cool” is just what felt right and comes natural to them! The combination of these elements is certainly showcased in their debut single “Modern Man” which was unleashed on the world back in 2020, and I would highly encourage you all to go listen to it if not just to witness the single cover.
The “Pseudo Cool” sound, while certainly reminiscent of 70s punk icons, fluctuates from single to single and perfectly showcases the versatility of the 4 piece even with only 5 singles released so far. For example, you’ve got “For the Both of Us” which features Lloyd on vocals, a more pronounced drum line from Shay, and scratchier guitar riffs when compared to previous singles. And then, we have the spooky masterpiece that is “I’d Like to Watch”, which is a bass heavy, voyeuristic, tune that apparently started life as a pretty cheery little riff! This brings us to their latest release “Shut Up and Go” which came out in the tail end of 2021. I cannot stress enough how much of a vibe this tune is quite honestly. It is a truly catchy, unbelievably fun track filled with nothing but high energy and in my opinion provides the perfect song to start a New Year with. I encourage you all to watch the interview below for a mildly chaotic conversation about the struggle to remain authentic in a world of social media, a crippling obsession with Ramones, the problems with the Cardiff to Maesteg trainline, and any and all upcoming Pseudo Cool info, where ultimately its unclear who was interviewing who!