have to pay homage to my first true encounter with the music business. It was a
confused time now referred as The Brit-Pop era. It didn’t last long but it
brought so many awful bands to the fore that many a second-hand record store
still keeps muddy traces of its flood. This wave all the same left a few great
albums by bands such as Pulp, Lush, The Stone Roses, The Boo Radleys, Ride….
which didn’t wait for their break to record great songs. I still listen to
some Brit-pop bands once in a while: Sleeper had a couple of refreshing numbers
despite their singer’s stupidity, Bawl, Drugstore, Radiohead,
Supergrass…Oasis sure, Elastica when you get past their stealing Wire, James,
Echobelly, The Wannadies, The Cranberries, Ash and Linoleum during my most
get your ass in gear to remember bands that crossed briefly your shelves or go
to your basement and fetch your suitcase in which you store these albums you
didn’t manage to sell to local second-hand record stores or old mix-tapes a
girl wearing a miniskirt and slides offered you. You should there find goodies
by Cast, Carrie, The Longpigs, Me Me & Me, Travis, Symposium, Suede, The
Charlatans, Salad, Inspiral Carpets, Comet Gain, Powder, That Dog, Catatonia,
Garbage, The Manic Street Preachers, The Warm Jets, The Verve, Strangelove,
Underworld, Saint-Etienne, Morrissey, Divine Comedy and of course Menswear.
were really hip in 1995. They wrote their names like that: Meanswe@r. Wasn’t
that a micro-soft parade ??
night when I was still hanging out with rated-r the Mind I heard
‘Daydreamer’. It threw down a terrific bubble pop groove and impressed me. I
realize now that I was my personal foul when I mocked people who listened to
Cast and at the same time bought Nuisance by Meanswear. I thought the
album was as great as the single and I couldn’t listen to it because I bought
it second-hand at Potatoe Head Blues.
often realize after a while that titles reveal some sort of truth, be they
meaningful or ridiculous at the moment of the release, considering the events of
the time…Indeed, with retrospect Nuisance is a perfect title for this
horrid album. It just clutters. Except for ‘Daydreamer’ the album is truly
awful, pushing further away the boundaries of superficial drama and bubble-pop
dullness. Three quarters of the tracks are worse than Duran Duran. Menswear
sometimes tries to be a Beatles’ epigone but never succeed (‘being brave’,
‘sleeping in’), sometimes badly imitates Oasis (‘little miss pinpoint
eyes’). They sound like worn-out Elastica. Menswear is of course lyrically
challenging. ‘Stardust’ is a daring mockery of a superficial rock star who
‘got drunk and crashed his car, sold his soul and his mother for
rock’n’roll and fame, loves himself and loves no other…’ Oh and I’ve
almost forgotten, ‘his girlfriend looks like Bridgette Bardot’. Waooh, such
a bold exposure on the part of business products. In the incredibly touching
love song ‘Piece of Me’, ‘sex is a secondary thing’ but somehow you get
the impression that the poor narrator has got a fiend in his crotch and that he
loves the girl because she is an occasional A & O specialist.
eventually learnt that Menswear was in fact the result of Island researches for
the perfect guys to make the most attractive Brit Pop band to score hits and
monopolize the charts’ first step. A sort of Brit-pop boys-band if you will.
Do we have to take into account that their singer tried to look like Jarvis
Cocker. It almost worked if you consider that ‘Daydreamer’ definitely was a
radio-friendly hit spreading its hooks on every Brit-pop dance floor. It
didn’t make it to Trainspotting soundtrack though. Sorry. I’m being
mean. Erase and Rewind. It didn’t make it to the top. They might have said as
Fred Durst recently that they were the best band in the world but don’t take
it for granted.
I don’t think there will ever be a Menswear come-back. This band is not
immortal. Neither are Shameful memories. We should coco while listening to
‘Fucking in the bushes’ my friends. You’ll manage somehow.
‘being brave’ WOOd.