The Tubs

Dead Meat (Trouble In Mind)

Contact Jacob Daneman about The Tubs

Today, London-based Welsh band The Tubs release a new single/video, “Wretched Lie.” The track is off of  their debut album, Dead Meat, out January 27th via Trouble in Mind (for a deep dive into the album, check out their Stereogum Band To Watch feature). Following the title track and “Sniveller,” “Wretched Lie” takes a more goth turn. Reminiscent of melodramatic bands The Cure and The Smiths, “Wretched Lie” is the band’s most solemn tune, respite with darkly romantic guitar lines and crooning vocals. The track is “about meeting yourself in a mysterious setting and telling yourself a lie,” says Owen “O” Williams. The accompanying video, doused in a dark red wash, was directed and animated by Tasha Lizak.


The Tubs make music that incorporates elements of post-punk, traditional British-folk, and guitar jangle seasoned by nonchalant Flying Nun pop hooks and contemporary antipodean indie bands. Dead Meat is resplendent in hi-fidelity strum and thrum, but the group’s penchant for traditional British folk and Canterbury folk-rock takes a noticeable, caffeinated step forward. Echoes of Fairport Convention’s decidedly English chime cross swords with William’s lyrics. Many songs urgently soar under Williams’ acerbic lyrics, recalling a younger, fiery Richard Thompson. These are pop tunes about erotomania, groinal rashes, extreme acts of sniveling and heinous South London flat odors. Mental illness tends to be a recurrent topic but these songs don’t offer any advice or particular sense of affirmation, relatability, hope etc. If anything, they seem more interested in the ways in which mental illness can turn the sufferer into a petty, annoying arsehole. O Williams explains: “Having a compulsive disorder which makes me go bonkers isn’t my ‘superpower’ or whatever, it actually just makes me this irritating guy who smells.


The Tubs have never been tighter and more dynamic, often imperceptible ratcheting up the tension, an extra guitar line overdubbed, a barely audible organ/synth cranking under a chorus or bridge, or unexpected backups from vocalist Lan McArdle. The Tubs are poised to take over your stereo – there’s no point in resisting.