Walked into somewhere recently and was reminded how much of a love-hate relationship I have with these guys. Musically, tight as hell, but with such a toxic degree of hipster cynicism that it’s no surprise I haven’t listened to them in years.
The first song I’d ever heard was “Frank Sinatra” – and for those of you familiar with Peter Murphy’s solo career, at first I wondered if he had a new album out (I recall this being shortly before he actually did release a new solo album, but…)
Shortly after I heard “The Distance” and, having bought the album, really did enjoy their droll delivery of “I Will Survive.”
But “The Distance” gives the game away, in retrospect. The story of a race driver with a degree of one-itis, who sacrificed his relationship for his mission, racing, while leaving her alone in “her time of need” – and she just wants to forget him.
Ultimately, it’s just sad.
And looking back, despite the tight and interesting mashup of styles, love their basslines, the songs are beta as hell – worse than your average country song. Some are just bitter, a couple verge on red pill, if only just, but most are just… needy, and “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” is so feminist grrrl power that I’m neither surprised it was used as the intro song for the TV show Chuck, nor would I be surprised to discover the writer has some ugly skeletons in his closet regarding his treatment of women.
I want a girl with A mind like a diamond I want a girl who Knows what's best I want a girl with Shoes that cut And eyes that burn Like cigarettes I want a girl with The right allocations Who's fast and thorough And sharp as a tack She's playing With her jewellery She's putting up her hair She's touring the facilities And picking up slack I want a girl with a short skirt And a long jacket I want a girl who Gets up early I want a girl who Stays up late I want a girl with Uninterupted prosperity Who used a machete To cut through red tape With fingernails that Shine like justice And a voice that is dark Like tinted glass She is fast and thorough And sharp as a tack She's touring the facilities And picking up slack I want a girl with a short skirt And a long, long jacket I want a girl with A smooth liquidation I want a girl with The right dividends And at the city bank We will meet accidentally We'll start to talk when She borrows my pen She wants a car with A cupholder arm rest She wants a car That will get her there She's changing her name From Kitty to Karen She's trading her mg for A white Chrystler Laberon I want a girl with a short skirt And a long jacket
And so, despite briefly taking some time to enjoy the musicianship of a few songs I hadn’t listened to in a while, I put the discs back away. Maybe Goodwill will have a use for them.