MONEY

Suicide Songs

Bella Union

Jan 29, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice Bookmark and Share


MONEY are Manchester's most treasured secret. Whilst fellow residents Everything Everything and, defiantly, WU LYF took the plunge from arty college kids with guitars to globe-trotting underground iconography of the city, a modest tour off the back of MONEY's debut LP The Shadow of Heaven struggled to keep them away long enough for their Manchester rain-drenched morbidity to dry off. Although they spend the majority of its 43 minutes toying with new ideas, their second full-length record, Suicide Songs, is an unsurprisingly bleak affair.

At times MONEY's debut felt a little too much like post-New Order's softer side for a band that share their postcode to really get away with, as its atmospheric indie rock struggled to ever really manifest itself. The sonic palette that the band draw from the second time round, though, is instantly richer, as evidenced in the Indian-tuned dilruba that cuts through a S.C.U.M-esque electronic soundscape to open the record. By richer, I'm talking from brass arrangements into Middle Eastern strings into coldwave synths. The turbulence of it sits a little uncomfortably, yet somehow the non-identity of the band's new sound forms a backdrop for frontman Jamie Lee's despairing poetry to a tee. Although the title of lead cut "You Look Like a Sad Painting on Both Sides of the Sky" feels a little high school poet-y, there's an awful lot of great, albeit rigidly morbid, songwriting across the record. "I've wasted all my time on cocaine at Christmas and bottles of wine/I was happy as a child" he despairs on "Cocaine Christmas and an Alcoholic's New Year."

The undoubted highlight here is the eight-minute masterpiece "Night Came," re-imagining the sparse guitars of The Velvet Underground's "Heroin" if they didn't burst into a sawing melody but droned on throughout the song, before a gospel vocal section comes seemingly out of nowhere. It's the height of MONEY's oddball structures-whether they're born of free spirit or the double-edged sword of self-production with limited experience is unclear, but more often than not they get away with it. (www.moneybandofficial.com)

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