The Music - Singles And EPs: 2001-2005
With the apparent demise of this criminally underrated band, Hut Recordings have made a call to release all of The Music’s non-album material up until 2005 under the catchy title Singles & EPs: 2001-2005. The first disc is primarily the trio of releases before their eponymous debut, and is very much a trip down memory lane: back in 2002 I created a CD-R with an almost identical track listing, so enamoured was I with this utterly unique and brilliant band. And a decade on, I still get a shiver down the spine every time I hear ‘The Walls Get Smaller’, the second side of The Music’s debut single, with its sparse, descending guitar line and masterful changes of mood as it builds to a crashing, enthralling climax.
The Music take their cue quite definitely from the halcyon days of Madchester, blending a good beat with catchy melodies, psychedelic guitars and their fair share of recreational drugs. But here there is also subtlety and deftness that most bands can only dream of; the ingenuity of Adam Nutter’s guitar work may not have the flamboyance usually associated with great guitarists, but his turn of phrase and intelligent use of a multitude of effects enlivens every one of the twenty eight songs in this collection; and all the while drummer Phil Jordan sounds like a spider as he endeavours to hit every drum yet without ever sounding overblown or overpowering.
Unfortunately, second album Welcome To The North never did quite live up to the debut and that is shown here by the lack of depth in the material on the second disc; whilst back in 2002 tracks like ‘Karma’ and ‘Let Love Be The Healer’ could only make it as b-sides despite the fact they are glorious slabs of rocking indie, all we are left with by 2005 are remixes and an acoustic demo. The two singles, ‘Freedom Fighters’ and ‘Breakin’’ show flashes of the brilliance that was there in the beginning, but are all the more infuriating for tempting without fulfilling the promise.
Consider full marks for disc one, a middling score for disc two and arrive at an overall score that says 'buy'!