What We've Been Listening To This Week...Eyesore & The Jinx, Deh-Yey, Alias, The Moral High Ground, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Working Men's Club, Vanishing Lines
By Jon Milton
Life is full of surprises isn’t it? You’d think that having released their excellent debut EP in July that Eyesore and the Jinx would be quiet for a little while, but no, there on my list of new releases on Friday was a new single by them, the curiously titled ‘Accidental Weller’. For a moment I thought it might be one of those bands with the same name from some obscure part of the globe that Spotify seems to throw up on occasion in its lists, but then I realised that Eyesore and the Jinx is a pretty unique name and not likely to be appropriated in the same way that Yak or Talk Show are. Anyway, Accidental Weller is pretty much unmistakably by the band, and it puts a huge smile on my face every time I listen to it.
In it, the protagonist has visited a barber and emerged with that haircut that men of a certain age sport, because they firstly don’t want to get old gracefully and secondly have the hair to get away with it. ‘Don’t tell me it looks fine! I only came in for a short back and sides!’ sings front-man Josh in his thick scouse voice over a musical backing that could have come from one of That Petrol Emotion’s first two albums. Its genius on so many levels, and a bit of compensation for that fact that I’m not going to get my vinyl copy of The Exile Parlour until December. FFS.
Another band from the North West that normally offer dry witted and wry observations of life are Deh-Yey, who released their new single on Friday ‘ I Am Result’. This time however the single is focused on the serious matter of children growing up in care and the behavioural changes developed in children through neglect. It’s a timely release of course as September is normally when referrals to Children’s and Young Peoples’ services start to escalate substantially as signs of abuse are identified by schools. This year may be even worse given lockdown and the emergence of heightened levels of alcohol and drug abuse.
‘I Am Result’ centres around a delinquent child who is the ‘cock of the biggest playground’, shaven haired to looker tougher, selling drugs, stealing from other kids and blaming the world ‘when my mother says goodbye’. The song concludes with the child being moved to another home and finishes with the line ‘Keep your back up, Hold your knife up’.
Its powerful stuff and undoubtedly the best thing the band have done so far.
With it being the end of the month, Deh Yey’s record label Restless Bear have stuck out a new playlist and on that list amongst a number of great tracks is the new single by Alias, 'King'. It’s the band’s second single and it’s a rather good psychedelic rocker with a sassy beat and some great fuzzy guitar. Another psychedelic find for the week was ‘Manta Cyclone’ by the Moral High Ground – not a new tune (it came out in February) but new for us and worth talking about. Manta Cyclone flits between early Pink Floyd psychedelia and post punk thrash and it sounds great loud.
Staying with psychedelia or more accurately psych rock, Frankie and the Witch Fingers bought out a new album ‘Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters…’ this week and its superb. It kicks off with the frantic 8-minute Activate, concludes with another 8-minute track MEPEM… and in between is a perfectly put together album that just flows so beautifully. There are little touches of seventies funk in amongst the awesome psych rock and the two segue tracks Michaeldose and Urge You are just magnificent touches. You could say that tracks like Simulator, Where’s Your Reality and Cavehead are standouts but its all excellent, and it’s been designed to listen to in one sitting, so don’t go track hopping or you’ll spoil the experience.
Also out on Friday was the new album by Working Men’s Club. I kind of think that the appeal of this album depends on your feelings toward New Order, Human League and Heaven 17. If you love those bands you’ll love this, but if you’re like me and can only take those bands in small doses you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. It’s a good album on the whole and there are some great tracks – Teeth, obviously, Valleys and the wonderful krautrock Angel stand out, but after a while that deadpan vocal and the incredibly primitive drum programming in places starts to wear a little thin. Interestingly the NME refer to its ‘pulsating rave anthems’ in their five-star review, which made me think that rave’s must be really crap these days.
Finally, this week, fellow NMS writer Ian Smith announced the release date of his debut album as Vanishing Lines. He’s joined in the band by Stephen Lawrie of The Telescopes and Jake Taylor. No Replacement Found comes out on the 30th October on Little Cloud Records and is available on some rather fetching pale green vinyl. You can check out a couple of the tracks on Bandcamp Now. It's noisy drone rock in the mode of Loop and the Jesus and Mary Chain and yes, this is a shameless plug.