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SUICIDE SONGS

Having released their debut, The Shadow of Heaven, at the crest of a wave of hype, in some quarters they slipped into a pool of Coldplay comparisons. But the Manchester-based self-mythologians Money went away, swallowed a hearty dose of mind-altering substances and the tones of 80s and 90s loosely plucked psychedelic shoegaze, and have returned with enough personal woe to compose an album of Suicide Songs by both name and nature.

It’s hard to avoid referencing ‘Fairytale of New York’ when talking about ‘Cocaine Christmas and an Alcoholic’s New Year’, but Shane McGowan and Kirsty McColl have such a solitary stranglehold on festive misanthropy that as Jamie Lee vanquishing his vices it naturally seems deferential. But this doesn’t make it a bad pop song. In fact, quite the opposite; it’s as catchy as they come. Moreover, instead of becoming tangled too irredeemably in the trappings of forgery, it lives up to Lee’s new billing as worldly-wise and weathered ringleader-in-chief, whose existential tragedy merely pays homage to his heroes and heroines of the cultural spotlight.

Lee’s vocal refrains are strained and sighing, graduating from choirboy soliloquies to nasal, gnarly drawls of a dirge for his own funeral, ‘You Look Like A Sad Painting On Both Sides Of The Sky’. All the while, Charlie Cocksedge refines The Edge effects shtick in favour of the clustered yet controlled crescendos (‘Night Came’) enhanced by instrumental diversity such as the stringed dilruba (‘I Am The Lord’), synonymous with the likes of Anton Newcombe, David Bowie et al.

For Money, it’s another album preoccupied with the biggest questions in life and death, this time closer to the edge of the latter and eloquently contrasted with soul-soaring, meaning-driven music.

Money launch the new album at the Ritz on 10 February.

by Now Then Manchester