Grab Grab the Haddock

  • Grab Grab the Haddock
  • Three Songs by Grab Grab the Haddock EP (UK Cherry Red) 1984 
  • Four More Songs by Grab Grab the Haddock EP (UK Cherry Red) 1985 

This terminally cute London quartet with the daft name spun off from the defunct Marine Girls but, unlike former bandmate Tracey Thorn (who went on to form Everything but the Girl), Alice Fox and her crew still hawk the chaotic tunelessness that made the Marine Girls so insufferable.

The first EP has a sparse, almost minimalist feel; even the use of atypical pop instrumentation (maracas, conga drum, cello) does little to alleviate the disjointed clatter. Fox’s childlike caterwauling further adds to the annoyance. Four More is a slight improvement — clear melodies and a near-logical organization level enhance the tracks. Guitarist/songwriter Lester Noel takes over vocal chores on “Last Fond Goodbye,” a bright pop song that provides the 12-inch’s only worthwhile interlude.

[Altricia Gethers]