|The Pre New|
|The Male Eunuch|
The Pre New — The Male EunuchΞ Kombinace soucitu a zničujícího sarkasmu. The Pre New’s second album is another noisy splurge of glam–rock and weird electronics, and an oddly moving narrative of modern middle–age.
Ξ Angry, disturbing and extremely funny.
Location: London, UK
Album release: 11 May 2015
Record Label: 3 Loop Music
01. Speed Queen 2:17
02. Psychedelic Lies 3:50
03. Flaccid Astronaut 4:52
04. Europa Superstar #2 4:42
05. Mri Classic 2:38
06. 100% Beef 3:22
07. Middle Class Heavy Metal On Anti Depressants 3:03
08. Introducing Janet vs. John 1:23
09. Janet vs. John the Outcome 4:36
10. Photographed 4:22
11. Provisional Feelings 4:33
12. The Mars Bar Within You 3:05
13. The Male Eunuch 3:43
14. Speed Queen (Reprise) 0:53
Ξ Stuart Boreman, Laurence Bray, Jamie Fry, Vincent Gibson, Gordon King, Stuart Wheldon
Ξ The Male Eunuch follows the highly acclaimed Music for People Who Hate Themselves and its remixed companion album Music for Homeowners. Early material has been streamed online and has had strong radio play with tracks Speed Queen and A Song for One Direction. The band will be playing a live session with Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music on the 11th May. The bands own protest ambassador Stu Boreman stated: "Binary Digital Bankruptcy converts this Sonic Debris into the sound of summer. Off shore becomes on shore as British Summer Time arrives early. Shot thru the Black Hole into the hole in your heart, it's the colour chart from hell. Foxton's still burns. Face–sitting is banned. Froch vs Groves. Farrow & Ball. We are at War." The band are set to play a number of venues on their psycho–geographical tour of the UK based around their intercity logo to celebrate its release. (This seasons logo colours are an exclusive premix of Brinjal and Smoked Trout with Lulworth Blue) I'm with The Pre New, are you?
Ξ Perhaps due to the presence of Stuart Boreman, Gordon King and Jamie Fry, the group's sound bares some similarities to Earl Brutus however, contributions from the group's more recent members (namely Stuart Wheldon and Laurence Bray) ensure that The Pre New have a sound that remains contemporary. The group's music references Glam Rock, Acid House, EBM, Synth Pop, Punk and Neu Disco as well as visual artists including Jeff Koons (from whom the band gets its name) and Jeremy Deller.
BY CHRIS TODD, 15 MAY 2015, 11:30 BST; SCORE: 9/10
Ξ That revolution we were told about never was shown on the telly after all. It was ostracised, anaesthetised by important men in suits (posh ones, like from Next), killed off by guys with big ideas and small willies, hell bent on selling you the Riverside Apartment Dream, a tiny box with exposed brick and aesthetically pleasing soft furnishings that can be all yours, just 350k.
Ξ Now, there's a new machine to rally against, and this is where The Male Eunuch kicks in, The Pre New's second album that has them kicking against the pricks in a gloriously grumpy old man kind of way. Led by multiple vocalists, Jim Fry in particular mastering the art of a withering lyrical put down, on this form it's certainly safer to be with them than against them.
Ξ The ‘New’ of The Pre New is new, the ‘Pre’ is made up of members of two sorely missed UK acts World of Twist and Earl Brutus, and together they conjure up a sound which respectively references both bands without nostalgia or genre boundaries getting in the way.
Ξ Opening track "Speed Queen" is in no way indicative of what's to come, but as their 2010 debut Music For People Who Hate Themselves showed, theirs is a pick n’ mix laced with bleach sound. This track shows off a power punk edge with pervy lyrics: "Speed Queen, just seventeen / do you know what I mean / leather scene / sex queen — old man’s dream" , it's the kind of glam rock blast that Placebo could never quite come up with and proves to be a thrilling start.
Ξ World of Twist, by a classic piece of bad timing, did what Pulp did, better, and three years prior to Jarvis becoming some kind of bastion for camp Northern indie pop. Their sole album, 1991's Quality Street is a lost British classic, but releasing only a couple of EPs either side of the album means there's very little music to enjoy. That's what makes "Flaccid Astronaut” such a pleasure, with Jim Fry’s reminiscing: “All I wanted to was / work at Jodrell Bank / and leave the bank / and find out what life was" followed by an absolutely gorgeous chorus of “Future rising ten feet tall / little man you’re so much more / future changing uniform / little man don’t lose control”. Weird squiggles, xylophones and synthesiser work culminate in a track similar to WOT's much loved "Sweets", and it’s pure joy.
Ξ "Europa Superstar #2" provides another highlight; a pounding electro tune similar in style to Depeche Mode and Technique era New Order, it's a sneering diatribe against the modes of entertainment of the vaguely middle class. The snarling line “Red Wine is kicking, Easy Jet tickets and a bottle of Kava–it just gets better", breaks down into a techno throb that could easily be released on Kompakt Records with rapped lyrics about having a purpose: "I'm documentary / travelled from London / film children in tunnels / under the surface " — snotty, judgemental brilliance.
Ξ Elsewhere "MRI Classics" is the hymn "Jerusalem" with clanking MRI scanner sounds over the top, "Photographed" is a moody synth heavy nod to early 80s Italo and EDM, while the title track takes the electronics to a darker place. Lyrically, this is also the bitterest point of the album, as we bemoan "The mongs, the twats, the overpaid fucks/fuckwits the tasteless losers/the floating debris of failure–failure–why breathe?".
Ξ The Fall at their most Krautrock inform the heavy grind of "Janet vs John"'s tale of a relationship break down ("Clear the shit up off my lawn"), with bitchy recollections of the "photographs of you when you were thin" that break down to a nagging electro riff where Fry creeps back into the house "Past the pictures of the kids when they were young / and all the emptiness the guy from Elbow never sung".
Ξ Throwing in references to various Farrow and Ball paint colours, Asos, estate agents, and thoroughly unsavoury characters such as Heroin Stan (stabbed his mam), this is middle–aged angst set to music. Both World of Twist and Earl Brutus have a classic album to their name, and now, so do The Pre New. Ξ http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/
Alexis Petridis, Thursday 7 May 2015 15.00 BST; SCORE: ****
Ξ Earl Brutus were, by some distance, the most improbable beneficiaries of the Britpop goldrush. Indeed, their brief sojourn on a major label may be the high–water mark of the insanity that gripped the music industry in the wake of Oasis and Blur’s success: it’s not just that their music was wildly uncommerical — a frenzied splurge of bovver–booted glam, noisy electronics and bellowed vocals — but that Earl Brutus appeared to oppose everything that made Britpop popular. In an era defined by the optimism of Oasis’s Live Forever, one of Earl Brutus’ musical calling cards was titled Life’s Too Long. Instead of flag–waving patriotism and rosy, we–won–the–World–Cup–once nostalgia, their mordantly funny songs picked at the scabs of modern Britain, alternately repelled by and revelling in the grotesque absurdities of everyday life: the sleeve of their debut album Your Majesty … We Are Here featured a block of text explaining that Chat magazine had refused permission to use a photo of a distressed young girl and her alcoholic mother from a feature headlined “Mum wanted me dead”, which the band “felt was an appropriate image for the cover”.
Ξ At a time when putatively alternative bands were smartening up their act and evincing a greater polish and professionalism in the hope of mainstream success, Earl Brutus’s live shows were chaotic, drunken and often violent, while their promotional photos were resolutely unglamorous, highlighting the fact that the band’s members were old enough to have served not just in proto–Britpop pioneers World of Twist, but industrial pioneers Clock DVA and early–80s pop hopefuls JoBoxers. In the most celebrated shot of their late frontman, Nick Sanderson, he’s wearing a bra and glitter eyeshadow, leaning against a parking meter with a bottle of lager; another had him striking a rock–star pose while using an asthma inhaler.
Ξ Needless to say, any commercial ambitions Earl Brutus’s label may have had for them went unfulfilled. But 11 years after their last gig, their music seems weirdly prescient. There’s something of Earl Brutus about the grimy, refusenik din of Fat White Family; you could draw a direct line between the witty, splenetic list of modern–day ills found on their 1996 single The SAS and the Glam that Goes With It (“TV chef … nouveau Irish pub … Tudorbethan mansion … hair design by Nicky Clarke”) and the oeuvre of Sleaford Mods. And, understandably, you can hear their echoes in the Pre New, the band formed by various ex–members of Earl Brutus a couple of years after Sanderson’s death in 2008 — not least in their blackly comic sense of humour.
Ξ Their second album arrives bearing songs called things like Middle Class Heavy Metal on Antidepressants and The Mars Bar Within You. Earl Brutus were always obsessed with the seedier aspects of 70s rock: The Male Eunuch opens with Speed Queen, a helium–voiced parody of glam–rock acts’ troubling penchant for writing queasy songs about young girls. Midway through the album is an interlude that features a recording of Jerusalem drowned out by electronic honks and buzzes: it’s both funny and slightly unsettling, particularly when you learn the honks and buzzes are the sound of an MRI scanner in action.
Ξ For all the reminders of their past, the most striking thing about The Male Eunuch might be the way it shifts the Pre New out of their former band’s shadow. You’d hesitate to use the word “subtle” about an album that contains a tumultuous din like Speed Queen, but it certainly sounds more expansive than their previous outfit, the chaos fractured by quietly brooding electronic interludes, the churning racket of Middle Class Heavy Metal On Antidepressants crashing against Europa Superstar #2’s thumping techno. Photographed, meanwhile, somehow manages to transform the kind of worldess, woo–hoo–hooing diva vocal you get on pop–house records into something weirdly creepy and unsettling.
Ξ The words aim a few kicks in the direction of Farrow & Ball’s tasteful range of paints and the government’s decision to regulate what can be shown in British pornography, while the title track works itself up into such a cold rage at the proliferation of “twats … overpaid fucks … tasteless losers” that it ends up asking itself “why breathe?”
Ξ But perhaps reasoning that Sleaford Mods have got the splenetic, state–of–the–nation addresses pretty well covered, the lyrics are mainly preoccupied with aging. Ξ This isn’t a topic that rock music regularly addresses — a little oddly considering how many craggy, middle–aged faces you get staring out of the NME cover these days — and certainly not as unflinchingly as The Male Eunuch does. The characters here are middle–aged, thwarted, confused and unfulfilled, riven with what Janet vs John describes as “all the emptiness the guy from Elbow never sings”. The songs describe them with an oddly affecting combination of sympathy and withering sarcasm. The protagonist of Flaccid Astronaut was a space–race–obsessed child filled with moon–landing–inspired visions of a glittering future. “Then nothing happened, and I just hung around,” he complains, his misery underscored by the album’s prettiest melody. Ξ 100% Beef’s leading man is washed up by the recession: “Your wife is beautiful, you always had perfect taste/ With 30 years of overdraft and you’re back at your dad’s place.”
Ξ The Male Eunuch is variously angry, moving, disturbing and extremely funny. It’s tempting say that if you only buy one noisy glam–rock/electronic album preoccupied with the misery of middle age this year, it should be this one: that covers what you might politely call its niche appeal and the fact that there isn’t really anything else around like it. Perhaps the biggest compliment you can pay them is that the Pre New sound as singular and strange in 2015 as Earl Brutus did 20 years ago. Ξ http://www.theguardian.com/
Ξ Music For People Who Hate Themselves (2012)
Ξ Music For Homeowners (2013)
Ξ The Male Eunuch (2015)
|The Pre New|
|The Male Eunuch|