The Spins – Lucky Cig
In the 20th Century, the art world was never able to create two better, more supple, and expressive formats than the stand-up routine and the 3-minute single. Like a Rubik’s Cube that once assembled provides the key to a mysterious new world, jokes and simple guitar songs pack an incredible punch when they land.
Perhaps, the greatest thing about these two formats is just how democratic the process of participating is. Technically, you don’t need to look a certain way or even display an undeniable amount of talent. Those who show up simply need to work out their stories in a way that suits the composition.
This is one of the reasons why The Spins’ Lucky Cig ends up sounding so emotionally powerful in spite of the noticeable lack of bells and whistles. Sure, it sounds like the kind of tune someone writes in their living room in a 5-minute mad dash of inspiration. Nonetheless, the classic songwriting manoeuvres also seem to reference a million other songs of loss and heartbreak, with which Lucky Cig is closely related.
The Clockworks – Feels So Real
So many songs are about heartache and disappointment that soon enough, signing off on these sort of tune becomes an arms race in which whoever is able to furnish their tunes with the most amount of blue-hearted angst is proclaimed the winner.
Bands that live in London though have a head start, it seems to me. From the original punks to the 90s Mancunians forced to move the U.K. centre of glitz and glamour, there’s something truly and powerfully heartbreaking in living in London, a city that was once, a long time ago, the cultural and political bull’s-eye of the world. Oh, how sad. Oh, well.
The Clockworks are from Ireland, and you can hear it in their feisty approach to their indie-rock performing. Still, they too have got the bug. Feels so real sounds like the kind of song Ray Davies might have written about the backstreets of his beloved homeland if all the humour he usually presented, suddenly fell away.
Memorable, punchy, and well-produced, The Clockworks are a post-punk band with a knack for good melodies and the kind of attitude that could make a lot of people take an interest. Alan McGhee did, and that is, certainly, as bright of a green light as any group is bound to get.