***Click on 000list to see the full archive of album reviews (includes links to the reviews & stand out tracks)***

~~~Click on Thrift Store Music Player to hear all the stand out tracks~~~

^^^Click on Art Gallery to browse the album covers^^^

Blog Archive

Friday, December 19, 2014

Menswe@r - Nuisance

Name: Menswe@r
Album: Nuisance
Year: 1995
Style: Brit-Pop
Similar Bands: Oasis, Blur, Wire, Elastica, Kula Shaker, 
"One-Word" Review: Mediocre Bandwagon Britpop
Based Out Of: London, UK
Label: London Recordings, Laurel
 Nuisance - Cover, Liner Picts, CD, Inner Tray
Nuisance - Lyrics, Back
Nuisance (1995)
  1. 125 West 3rd Street 3:05
  2. I'll Manage Somehow 2:35
  3. Sleeping In 4:42
  4. Little Miss Pinpoint Eyes 2:06
  5. Daydreamer 2:16
  6. Hollywood Girl 2:18
  7. Being Brave 4:02
  8. Around You Again 3:23
  9. The One 3:43
  10. Stardust 2:55
  11. Piece of Me 3:02
  12. Stardust (Reprise)/Bones and Red Meat 14:39
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
Johnny Dean - Vox, Percussion
Simon White - Guitar, Vox (Finlay Quaye)
Chris Gentry - Guitars (Vatican DC, Urban DK, Ali Love, Crest Mob, Facts About Funerals, )
Stuart Black - Bass, Guitars (Messiah, Bella Echos, Cockney Rejects)
Matt Everitt - Drums, Percussion (Pleasure Thieves, The Montrose Avenue)
Neill King - Producer, Arrangements
Russel Kearney - Recording Engineer
Simon Sheridan - Mix Engineer
Marc Waterman - Producer
Porl Fletcher - Organ/Keys/Piano, Arrangements, Flute
Gavyn Wright - String Arrangement
Nick Ingman - Arrangements
The Kick Horns - Horns
Sian Bell - Cello
Simon Fowler - Front Photo
FTP Creative Imaging - Image Manipulation
David Sims - Other Photography
Stylorouge - Design

Unknown-Ness: Sure, I remember Menswear. I was at the right age at the right time to enjoy all of Brit Pop’s glory. But I’ll be damned if I can remember when I bought this, or what it sounds like, beyond the general brit pop sound. Will I be surprised at the contents, and regret not fully embracing them when they were popular, or is it a throwaway band cashing in on the sound? Was there ever a second album? I cannot remember. All that aside, I like the name and their style is smooth and very “it” in the mid 90’s way.

Album Review: With the slightest of research, I was able to piece together that Menswear was a made to order suit. They were popular for their look and gained magazine cover status before they were declared a band or had a song written. And it sounds like they drove that one album, once it came out, into the ground with multiple singles and heavy promotion. But their second album, leaned away from Britpop into Country territory, was never released outside of Japan. The members never went on to be in anything as noteworthy as Menswear, but a few have and had their hands in popular band management (Bloc Party, Noah & The Whale).

“125 West 3rd Street” starts with reigned in fuzzy guitars and a general pop rock sound. The vocals are nothing memorable, and the chord progressions seem unnecessarily complex. This feels like album filler, not a good album starter. Although the end of the song features the whiny brit pop persona of La-La-La’s sung in a snotty voice over the basic melody.
“I'll Manage Somehow” features a staple on the brit-pop catalogue: the wah-wah guitar. This song is much catchier and the mediocre voice is forgiven with the dictionary melody. I can see the Kula Shaker comparison in this song.
“Sleeping In” starts out with a Monkees/Beatles/Ted Leo-like guitar hook, and the harmonies on the verse also harken back to classic, oldie-pop. The fuzz is not as thick on this tambourine tapping song. It is a nice, steadily driving song, with small rushed sections that fall back into the steady pace. But rather than stop the song at a nice condensed 2.30 song, they extend the chorus one last time, and stretch it out more than it needs to be…finishing the song up with a psychedelic guitar instrumental and accompanying soothing ahhhhhhs and even bringing horns into the production.
“Little Miss Pinpoint Eyes” has a much thicker British accent and is snottier in sound, like a nice marriage of Supergrass and Adam Ant. There is a bit of psych element with the harmonies, and wacky inflection in the lead vocals. But they keep their feet firmly in the present (90’s) with the fuzzed out guitars.
“Daydreamer” was the first single they released, and was their first song they had as a band. It continues the wacky spoken word vocals that are reminiscent of Adam Ant. The school yard mocking melody is reminiscent of Elastica, too.
“Hollywood Girl” is a bouncy, Jam-like song, if The Jam embraced the mid 80’s college radio, jangley pop phenomenon. It has a nice steady energy and more wah-wah guitars.  

“Being Brave” is slow and ballady, in a shoe-gazing way. As it grows, it becomes slightly more anthemic, and incorporates strings for an added sentiment. And they validate their British punch card with some Ba-Ba-Bas. It is a well-crafted song, but falls just short of being interesting.
“Around You Again” builds with energy at the beginning, reminding me of The Rifles with its blue collar appeal. But the drawn out, rolling melody of the second part of the chorus does not capitalize on the energy the verse generates.
“The One” is a bass driven song that chugs along once the instrumental intro relaxes. The soaring keyboard synth reminds me of boybands and Robbie Williams. The instrumental bridge, with revolving string section and motivational chord structure is well constructed, ending right into the verse with a perfect and anticipated fit. Produced slightly different, this would have been a solid hit for a pop-punk/emo-ey band of the mid 2000’s.
“Stardust” is a much more rocking song from the first introductory guitar chords. It builds on solid power pop notes, and touches ever so slightly into the wonderful melodies of Suede. The melodies are enhanced with the horn section as well. But the background ba-ba-ba’s actually detract from the song, as they are sharp, and up too far in the mix.
“Piece of Me” is another sentimental ballad, like Being Brave. This would be a good album ender, as it is the last noted song on the track listing and really takes things down a reflective notch with its peacefulness and tone. It features sad strings and an individually plucked guitar interlude amongst the acoustic strums.
“Stardust (Reprise)/Bones and Red Meat” faded up with the jovial horns, crashing piano, and fuzzy guitars we were familiar with one track back. It lasts for one instrumental minute (and 11 seconds) and we are met with that horrible secret device of hiding an additional song at the end of a track after 10 minutes of silence. At the 10:57 mark, a warbly carnival instrument section begins, with a side to side swaying melody, it feels like they are trying to suck the sound Blur captured on a few Modern Life tracks, even adding in breathy ah-ah-ah’s. It is a pleasant track, and I see how it doesn’t quite fit the template created by the rest of the album, but it’s a shame they had to hide it with that waste of space between it and the reprise.

Stand Out Track: Hollywood Girl

Official Site
Guardian 2014 review

No comments:

Post a Comment