I feel that enunciation is overrated (I’m talking to you Harvey Keitel. Why do you articulate every frigging syllable even when you are playing a prison hardened street tough? How about an apostrophe or two? There’s not a “gonna'” or a “haveta” to be found in the man’s entire oevre.)
Being too articulate, or enunciating too emphatically is a waste of time, because most people are not paying attention to what you say anyway. I guess Kieran Clarke, of the Forever Cult, agrees with me because he mumbles magnificently through the songs on the UK band’s free, and very good, EP FUXX, employing a universal rock and roll language the likes of which is used by Ellery Roberts from Wu Lyf, Jónsi Birgisson from Sigur Ros, or whoever sang “Louie Louie.”
The songs this neo new-wave, Enlgish hardcore, 21st century grunge band make available on their bandcamp and soundcloud pages are packed with slow, solidly chimey REM guitar parts, and ethereal Ooh Oohs and Ahh Ahhs the likes of which were ubiquitous in 80s pop music, but has now been co-opted by moody indie rock bands. On some songs the bass and drums plod along, sounding like what Joy Division would have sounded like were they competent musicians, and other tunes are more aggressive, like on the gnarled and wooly “Sinking,” where they sound like they would be comfortable on the early roster of Creation records, playing sets in between bands like Slowdive and Teenage Fanclub (and holding their own quite nicely). It’s unclear if they are versatile, or if they just have not exactly found their sound yet. Either way, it’s exciting.
The one thing they never seem to forget is melody.
On a song like “OCEAN OCEAN OCEAN” Clarke slurs soulfully, recalling the kind of sneer Elvis Costello used to affect, and sweats out the kind of grimy reverb 90s bands used spend years trying to perfect.
Their Clue Records release is well worth a listen, and so is their demo (perhaps more so). You won’t understand any of the lyrics, but you will understand everything they say.
Label: Clue Records
Next Show: Aug 30, RIGfest. Huddersfield, UK