Cosmo Jarvis is a man in a hurry. 19 years old and he’s testing the waters of public approbation by releasing a double album. Technically a double album I should say as, in reality, we’ve got two very different albums here. Humasyouhitch is the smileyface to Sonofabitch’s sadface. Spunk vs blood. However you want to look at it, this set sees young Cosmo do a lot of growing up in a very short time. Oh, did I mention that he writes all the songs and plays all the instruments on the album too?
Oh it would be so easy to hate him wouldn’t it? But damn the boy if he isn’t the one in a million that can carry off a double album: make no mistake, this is a sickeningly fine piece of work. It doesn’t begin with a great fanfare though and ‘You got your head’ makes for an unremarkable opener. ‘Mel’s Song’ soon draws you in however with an edgy self-deprecating wit which sees him lament the fact that girls like you aren’t common and when they come along I miss them before confessing I’m sorry if you think £1.50 was wasted…those were the best goddamn chips I ever tasted.
There’s no glamour in Cosmo’s adolescent tales. This is a world populated by real, sweaty, sticky, fumbling kids. I like girls in trackies he tells us during ‘Maxine’ I don’t know why, they just grab me. He may use cheap devices such as football chant choruses but there’s no hint of lo-fi about this record; this is wall of sound territory and for every ukulele groove there’s a huge stadium rock guitar solo lurking around the corner. This is the finished article. The highlight of Humasyouhitch is the magnificent, hysterical ‘ Jessica Alba’s Number’ where grimy reality is exchanged for Hollywood fantasy in which he dreams of taking out Britney Spears and She’d say hit me baby one more time. No way Britney, domestic violence is a crime. Come on, he deserves a Mercury award for that line alone.
‘Kate Was ‘Ere’ is no less of a blast and the touching innocence of a line like Kate was here and I like how she talks is a refreshing step back from the grubby masturbatory lines which pepper the earlier tracks. Aww look, our little Cosmo is growing up and we’ve not even finished the first disc yet. Seriously, these are nine songs of absolute joyful abandon; big grins all around, job done.
That’d be enough for most people but Cosmo’s got a lot to get off of his chest and Sonofabitch sees a lot of skeletons being wrenched from closets. It isn’t pretty and at times it’ll leave you wishing that, like Peter Pan, he hadn’t had to grow up. ‘Clean my room’ starts off innocently enough as Cosmo decides to have a life laundry, clean his room and dump his girlfriend. Something goes seriously awry along the way though and by the end he’s upped the ante and is planning to burn my room and kill my girlfriend. The fun is over, the sun has gone home…welcome to Sonofabitch.
‘Mummy’s Been Drinking’ comes like a kick in the teeth, a hard hitting tale of a disintegrating family hierarchy. When he tells his mother, deadpan, shut the fuck up, I don’t care anymore you don’t need to be told that this is no act. We can only hope that the murderous thoughts which underlie ‘Sunshine and Dandelions’ are less genuine. ‘Problems’ is the spark of genius upon which this dark disc hinges and sees Cosmo shred his vocal chords as he screams the everyman chorus of we’ve got problems of our own. The common theme of the album come again to the fore as he details the crushing dysfunctionality of modern family life. There’s very little redemption for anyone here and after this it comes as little surprise to hear the line even at nine years old suicide was my decision.
Potent stuff but bring back the happy Cosmo please! Thankfully there are hints that he’s still in there somewhere, particularly when he declares that we don’t live in the capital so all we do is have sex with our relatives…we get what we deserve. God only knows what he’ll do next but we won’t have long to wait as, incredibly, his next album is already lined up and ready to roll. Utter lunacy of course but don’t bet against it being another triumph.