Having bathed in glorified nostalgia on their genre-bending debut EP ‘1980’, Liverpool-based duo POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE are paving the way forward with new mixtape, ‘MONEY MACHINE!’ - a release that spells out the crucial details of ambition, success and the demons that need to be suppressed in order to achieve it.
The elusive pair met after Frankie Beanie and Simon Quigley relocated to the British hub of culture in 2019 - from Washington DC and Bristol respectively – and soon dived into quivering pools of obsession and self-doubt on their vulnerable and hyperactive debut, but now see this release primarily as a learning experience. As Quigley reflects: “we were still trying to find who we were. Now we have.”
Lead single ‘MIKE’ spells out this newfound identity within a raging thrasher that shows clear change from the soft tones previously revelled in – Quigley says that, “if ‘MIKE’ doesn’t make you want to go and slap someone, we’ve done something wrong.” The track details pent up energy that is finally being released in more ways than one, and the band are still finding catharsis in the success they have surprised themselves with here. As Frankie Beanie explains: “we’ve tried to write something that feels like ‘MIKE’ a bunch of times and just never quite gotten it, but this time we immediately knew we had it. This is the feeling that we’ve been chasing: freedom.”
Said freedom came from the embrace of spontaneity as the duo abandoned their pre-laid plans to pursue a feeling rather than a schedule. Hopping into the studio for a quick two-day stint, Beanie let himself loose lyrically in order to emphasise messages that artists usually restrain to limit their own discomfort. “That’s something I feel is missing in music right now, so that’s probably where the ambition comes from,” he says. “We’re not hiding from what we’re trying to do. Pretending to be something we’re not is not something we’re good at.”
A matured perspective shows complete evolution from where Beanie & Quigley were just a year ago. Their sonic is no longer “sexy indie music”, and their mind-set is no longer focused on long release schedules sometimes reaching beyond their momentary passion for an idea. “Last year we really re-evaluated everything we were doing and overall the vibe was that we’re trying too hard,” Beanie considers, while Quigley adds: “if you plan too much, you’re thinking about it too much and if you’re thinking about it too much, you’re trying too hard”.
In a chaotic move for the band, this mountainous release was forged in record time: “[MONEY MACHINE!] was recorded in the first week of December, it was really recent. We literally recorded it in two days, it was mixed the next week and we turned it in finished.”
The rush of an intense recording period has manifested POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE’s most genuine feelings yet into a digestible format, portrayed through a mixtape that clicks through an explorative range of tones. A range of influences play out over five diverse tracks – most notably BROCKHAMPTON and Tyler, The Creator – but “the throughline of the whole thing is the self-awareness of it all.” Explosive ambition morphs into moments of doubt, but these are eventually self-assured through the hook of ‘IN CASE YOU FORGET’: “That’s how I roll, that’s how it is, and that’s who we are, in case you forget, you’re a fucking star.”
“With this tape in particular, we really wanted to shatter whatever anyone thought of what we were and what we were doing. It feels like we’ve rebranded as a band. That’s what this tape represents; we’re laying the foundation for where we’re going next,” Frankie concludes, with the broad promise: “we’re going to put out three tapes this year”. Always pushing themselves forward, it’s clear that POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE have plenty more to give in 2022 and beyond.
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'Money Machine' EP is out on March 4th.
Words: Finlay Holden
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