Today’s Song: Loose Fit’s “Pull the Lever” Brings Sharp Lyricism and a Killer Groove

Loose Fit © Zafiro
With the tedium of modern pop reaching what might be its apex, Loose Fit and their debut single “Pull the Lever” seem tailor-made to lead a rebellion against the tawdry tracks that dominate the attention economy.
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Stream: “Pull the Lever” – Loose Fit

In “Pull the Lever,” Loose Fit’s Anna Langdon scornfully intones, “It’s time to start again, it’s time to start again, it’s time to start again,” endlessly invoking the hollow loop of a game of slots. A pounding headache, a foggy-eyed stare, and a strung out bassline played by Richard Martin linger in the background. Released February 3rd, “Pull the Lever” is a strong first offering from Loose Fit’s self-titled EP, distilling the post-punk ethos of bands like Gang of Four and Public Image Ltd. and synthesizing it with a contemporary flair, the guitars played by Max Edgar echoing in the background like a drug haze somewhere without cell service.

Pull the Lever - Loose Fit

Pull the Lever – Loose Fit

Picking bones, take a picnic to the park
Picking bones, take a picnic to the park
It’s getting dark, it’s getting dark…
Pull the lever, try your luck again
Colours spinning, wind them up again
Take a step too far, too far, too far, too far
Take a step too far, too far, too far, too far…

The band’s ability to channel the energy of those bands while forging their own path is remarkable, to say the least. With the tedium of modern pop reaching what might be its apex, Loose Fit seem tailor made to lead a rebellion against the cynical, seemingly algorithmic tracks that dominate the attention economy. While modern pop must insist on its own importance through an alchemy of turning the personal political, Loose Fit’s agitated, energetic style is self-assured – and rest assured “Pull The Lever” is as good on a club dance-floor as it is at the DIY show.

Musically, the bass and drum heavy structure of the song should immediately pique listeners’ interest. Guitars serve as an accent to Kaylene Milne’s drums skittering about, the dominating bass, and Langdon’s jaded vocal lines. Loose Fit seem like they could play the punk aesthetic straight, but have instead chosen their own angular style. They’re a band that can bring a groove to the mosh pit in between sessions of blast beats.

Loose Fit © Zafiro

Loose Fit © Zafiro

There’s a sense that everything is tawdry in “Pull The Lever.” The bass dominates the track, and as energetic, addicting as the groove is, it repeats, repeats in reflection of Langdon’s vocal line. It’s the chunk-click of the slot lever pull, the flash of lights, the empty victories that only give you back what you lost to the same game. In Langdon’s own words,

“Apps on our phones are designed like slot machines. It’s addictive and exciting to play a dating app. Refreshing or swiping is like pulling the lever of a slot machine to see what you got. That design is no accident in an attention economy.”

Like the slots, apps flash and treat you like a prisoner and an idiot – Tinder shrieks about new matches and prods you with insufferable Whedonesque witticisms about taking the shot, Instagram floods your timeline with empty positivity and a curated sense that everyone but you is thriving.

It might seem like an overdone suggestion born of a Luddite that all of this is hollowing us out, but “Pull The Lever” makes the point compellingly.

Like the original class of post-punk artists that came before them, Loose Fit seems constantly on the verge of an explosion in “Pull The Lever.” Jagged, experimental guitars flutter in the background of the track, constantly threatening to overtake the dominant bass but never quite explode to the foreground.

There’s a riot on my doorstep,
right here on my doorstep
Chilly unmet expectations
And charismatic shit
There’s no fire under it
There’s no fire under it

Kaylene Milne’s drum playing nearly drives the song over the edge during the chorus with a four on the floor disco beat as Langdon reiterates her “it’s time to start again, it’s time to start again” with an increasing urgency. The band members have restraint though, landing only on Langdon’s reverb heavy scream, “again!” There’s no sense of resolution in this addicting cycle, and that’s to the band’s credit.

Look forward to Loose Fit’s self-titled EP releasing April 3rd and in the meantime, groove to “Pull the Lever!”

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Stream: “Pull the Lever” – Loose Fit

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Pull the Lever - Loose Fit

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Danny Vagnoni is a writer specializing in music & culture writing, podcasting, and editorial work. Danny is currently working with Grammy winner Denny Somach (Ah Via Musicom, Eric Johnson) on an upcoming classic rock podcast and multimedia endeavour. He is based in Philadelphia, PA, and loves the city's resurgent culture. [Aside from all that, Danny has approximately five million instruments, two of which he can play competently, brews beer for kicks, co-hosts a podcast, and has a ceaseless drive to create.]