Sunday, 2 October 2016
October #10 - The Wedding Present
10. The Wedding Present - Secretary
Around June, I was starting to think that this was going to be a quiet year for new releases from my favourite artists. There had been a few notable ones in the first six months of the year, but I'd been listening to a lot more new music from the past and I was starting to think maybe I'd reached the age where not only were the charts meaningless to me, but the new release shelves held little interest too. I might not even have enough 2016 albums to fill a decent Year End Top Ten at this rate...
Along came September, and my fears were put to rest... only to be faced by a much more pressing fear: how the hell would I get through all these new albums by December? Because in the month of September, the new releases I desired shot way past double figures, my bank account started having palpitations and an age-old question resurfaced. Why the hell does everyone want to bring out new tunes at the same time of year? Is swamping the pre-Christmas market the only way to maximise your (dwindling) album sales? I could understand it if it was only the major labels doing this: they always have. But I buy very little from the major labels these days...
Seriously, in the space of about four weeks, there have been new albums from (deep breath) Pixies, The Handsome Family, Billy Bragg, Nick Cave, Okkervil River, Drive-By Truckers, Meat Loaf (with Jim Steinman: that's the important bit!), The Wedding Present, John Prine, Slaves, Bruce Springsteen (a greatest hits to tie into the autobiography, yeah, but still featuring never-released bonus tracks), Spearmint, Teenage Fanclub, De La Soul, Dawes... and I've probably forgotten a bunch more.
Plus I've got Luke Haines, Brad Paisley (maybe?), Leonard Cohen, Rumer, Ultrasound and who knows who else still to drop; there's a bank heist with my name on it any day now.
I mean, thank god Morrissey doesn't have a record contract at the moment!
Anyway: the new Wedding Present album, Going, Going... A crowd-funded 20-track behemoth that comes with a DVD I'll probably never get time to watch. I've only had time to flip through it once yet. Loved the atmospheric instrumental opener Kittery (this from someone who is largely 'meh' about instrumentals), but the track that immediately caught my ear and sounded Most Gedge was Secretary, a glorious 2 minute blast in which Leeds's finest whinges repeatedly that, "I only ever seem to get through to your secretary," and, "No, I really don't want to leave a message," over an urgent guitar, interrupted by a dreamier bridge that's a little more Cinerama.
There's probably far better songs on the album, and I may end up writing about them at a later date, but for now this will do fine.