Review of Grim Northern Social Album by Grim Northern Social

Grim Northern Social - Grim Northern Social
Grim Northern Social - Grim Northern Social - Album Review

Grim Northern Social

Grim Northern Social

Album Review

To say that Ewan Macfarlane (vocalist of Grim Northern Social) sounds like Mark E Smith circa ‘the nations saving grace’ would be too much of a complement…so I won’t…but by god does the man try. 10 out of 10 for effort then as Macfarlane launches into opener ‘Urban Pressure’ bypassing his Fall-like intentions to end up sounding like some new romantic twat leftover from 1984 or at least Johnny Rotten in his ‘Public Image’ incarnation. Is there really any need to roll almost every other ‘r’ in a bid to sound a bit wacky and glam and at the very best punk? The rest of the band do their dammed hardest to drag Grim Northern’s sound kicking and screaming into the current decade but you can’t help feeling that the odd drum trigger and keyboard sweep is merely a pretty faade for something really rather traditional and boring lying beneath. By track three I really was singing the opening riff to ‘Public Image Ltd’ (Public Image) along to their rather more inoffensive offering.

Music - Grim Northern Social - Grim Northern Social - Album Review

Now if I could just remember the tune to that Bugsy Malone classic ‘So you wanna be a boxer?’ Oh thank god for that, Track four seems to have answered my prayers with its military piano with rolling snare drum accompaniment (yes another thing that rolls in Grim Northern apart from that annoying vocalist’s r’s) with the exact melody line to that original song only this time played on guitar I was actually pleased when Macfarlane began singing…which was a first on this terrible musical journey. But as I expected this was soon shattered by the quite awful prog-rock (and I don’t use that term lightly) of ‘Snap the imposters’ which begins like a tribute to Yes and ends up as an insult…to music, “I’d like to survive till 2060…nothings impossible” Macfarlane rolls, well here’s news for you sir, you might but your band certainly won’t. I’m even starting to feel sorry for these guys now.

Maybe there’s hope in track seven, the previous single ‘Honey’. And so there was light, just like that, in fact I go as far as to say that it reminded me of some early Flaming Lips tunes from ‘Hit to death in the future head’ with its electric hi-hat’s/keyboard pulses double timing in the chorus beside its far less than annoying vocals and huge distortions to lift this tune above the mediocrity of what had gone before. Number eight – another show tune from Starlight Express maybe? Number nine – listen to Spacehog, it’s a far better version. So at 60 minutes you get your money’s worth of rather annoying and mediocre pop/rock, I’m actually surprised that the same label (One Little Indian) who provide such amazing artists as Bjork and…and…surely there’s…oh well maybe it’s not so surprising after all. Bjork get out of there the future looks grim.

Mark Danson