GYMNASTICS / MOTORBIKE (4AD)
Thankfully, EIOH haven't slipped. Charlie Boyer takes vocal duties from the outset, exploding out of the starting blocks with a frantic guitar line to reaffirm the band's debt to bIG fLAME and The Fire Engines: both sides of the single are milestones of jerky, lo-fi post-punk. As far as subject matter goes, the group follow up songs about shop mannequins and gears with the tale of a practising gymnast - it's not philosophy and it doesn't ever pretend to be, fitting the DIY atmosphere to a tee. Oh, and the stop-start structure, nailbiting sound attacks which could cut glass alternating with groaning complaints of 'bends my back' from all three members, seems artfully designed to get a roomful of people dancing for thirty seconds at a time and then standing about awkwardly until the guitar kicks in again. Which is brilliant. The b-side is a cheeky Beach Boys cover in disguise: Electricity In Our Homes's 'Little Honda' breaks down every few yards, but the nervous instrumental tension and a straight-faced spoken section from Bonnie Carr keep the band in the saddle while Paul Linger kickstarts the engine with jerky snare rolls. Thrilling stuff, and highly guaranteed.