Album Review: Table Scraps – Autonomy

As long as there’s new music being released, there’s going to be a debate surrounding the meaning of act names and album titles. Are they indicative of the meaning that is to be found within? Or just words to be ignored once we’ve got to essential task, listening to the music? Either way Table Scraps, and their second LP Autonomy, pose an interesting pair when it comes to semantics. The name ‘Table Scraps’, for me, immediately conjures an image of hierarchy and privilege at the expense of others, ‘forced to serve at the feast then sweep up the night,’ as The Clash put it in ‘Ghetto Defendant’. Allusions to dichotomy of wealth and references to self-governance (or lack of) all make for an intriguing concoction even before putting needle to LP. Intrigue and speculation are one thing, but what about the actual album?

Table Scraps - Autonomy artwork

If there’s political dissidence to be found on Autonomy, it’s partly through the band’s own existence. Clocking in at 28 minutes, the three-piece’s sophomore album is a scuzzy, lo-fi, garage rock affair brimming with melodies. Imagine if the dark surf of Tigercub and The Wytches met in the middle with the blown out psych of Oh Sees and you’re in the right ballpark. Through and through, Autonomy is a record that smacks of a ‘fuck you’ attitude – it’s grimy and unpolished, and here to snarl in the face of ideals of refinement.

Great songs, great attitude, but what really makes Table Scraps on Autonomy is the politics. It’s an ideology clear from the get go, with song titles like ‘Lyin’ Thru Yer Teeth’ and ‘Always Right’, however it really comes to the fore on songs like ‘Takin’ Out The Trash’. Combining a fuzzed-out riff, not dissimilar to Tame Impala’s ‘Elephant’ imagined through the lens of MC5, with a tale of picking yourself up against all the shit the world has to offer, cut ‘Takin’ Out The Trash’ open and it’ll bleed the colours of activism. It channels the type of energy-deprived advert knock offs only wish they could. You can have attitude and great tunes, but it’s rare they are backed up this type of depth.

As nice as it is for initial intrigue to be proved right, it’s no match for the adrenaline rush of listening to an excellent LP from a genuinely exciting band. At the end of it, names and title don’t matter when it comes to music. However what does matter are bands like Table Scraps, and the wonderful music they have created on Autonomy. Table Scraps are ones to watch and ones to cherish.