MONEY - Suicide Songs
The Manchester-formed quartet return with their follow-up to their acclaimed The Shadow Of Heaven, dropped on an unsuspecting public in 2013, accompanied by great word of mouth from gigs in far flung corners of the UK. Suicide Songs builds on this momentum and, after a difficult writing process - disagreements regarding musical direction, drunkenness, and self-doubt, MONEY have never been a simple band - delivers with a more mature and guided approach compared to their freshman release.
Suicide Songs, as the title suggests, isn’t an album that is full of sunshine and smiles. However, the bittersweet, despairing lyrical content such as on ‘I’m Not Here’ (“I’d rather be a tramp on the street / Because I’m only here once I’ve disappeared”) is offset by their vast and emotive sound. Musically, the record blends delicate guitar lines, strings and brass, and vocals that sound as if singer Jamie Lee is about to crack and break down at any moment. All of this is drenched in a healthy amount of cavernous and haunting reverb, reminiscent of Urban Hymns or Echo and The Bunnymen. Highlights of the record include opener ‘I Am The Lord’ with its addition of the dilruba (Indian Strings) elevating the band to future main stage Glastonbury headliner status, ‘Night Came’ which builds throughout to a bombastic climax, the not especially festive lament (or realistically festive, depending on your point of view) ‘Cocaine Christmas and An Alcoholic’s New Year’, and ‘I’m Not Here’.
This combination of early 90s Baggy / Psychadelia scene and Sergio Leone soundtrack is a solid and beautifully put together record (the proof is in the listening; you can feel that the whole group put their all into making it), but at times the expansive tracks do start to feel a bit, well, samey. The headline slot at Glastonbury beckons, but we maybe not just yet.