Die for Us Tonight
From the Manchester Evening News... 'It began as infatuation with the 'November Kills' single at the end of 2003. The love affair blossomed at a Madison, WI gig in February. Now it's become a religion. I'm obsessed. This record is godlike. 'Lover lay across my veins, take the life you give me,' sings The JammyBastard and it may well be true. Sheesh. My CD has been played constantly since I got it six weeks ago - these songs are now a part of my life. Let me try to explain. 'Nov. Kills' leads you into this house of delights, gently at first as it fades in with random sounds of studio chatter. Then suddenly you're in the main hall - it's vast, oak-panelled, chandeliers hang from the ceiling and right in the centre there's something dazzling, blinding, loud and intense, and it's dragging you closer. You're in. It's a drug and you're hooked. 'Nov. Kills' swaggers and sways, sure of it's own greatness, with this monstrous guitar figure at it's heart, the JammyBastard pleading 'How can I rest, as November Kills?' over and over. That's the first song. After such high drama, 'Hey!' is pure release. It forms part of a pure pop trilogy on this CD along with 'Petaluma' and a pressed flower of a song, 'Done/Gone'. All three can follow a line from The Stone Roses to Wilco to classic REM (dream no more about what that last group might have achieved, this is the promise made real), and yet this is one step on, quite definitely. Exhuming the past to create the future. The spine of the LP is Jammy's guitar playing. Beautifully flowing, certainly psychedelic, there are elements of Hendrix (especially on 'Black Hole Baby') and Marr (check out the fade to 'Slipped Out'), but the rest is the lad's own work. 'Daily Routine' is a showcase switching from acoustic to wah-wah to funk without once sounding clumsy. It metamorphoses into 'Scenester X', which brings anti-pop and psychedelia together for one short 3 min blast. This is a trip. It could have been the weak link, but instead is put across with so much invention that it works perfectly. Words and phrases are half-heard, half-drowning under waves of psychotic psychedelics. 'Ah so much waste, how we'll be teased.' Well, it sounds like that. 'If you ask me you're imbecile.' Then the voice goes under for the third time and it's over. Wow. The centrepiece of the record is 'Black Hole Baby'. An ebbing and flowing masterpiece, it builds around Jammy's guitar with splashing cymbals, honeyed, layered elements and moments of virtual silence. It's extravagant and ornate, full of menacing canyons. It will take your head off. By the time 'Vapourite' and the close 'Masterpiece' (love the former's pilfered Magritte title) has taken off for Cloud Nine and you go to put the CD on again, the feeling is who wouldn't like this record? A song-psychle that even allows room for the relatively folk rock 'Masterpiece', this is simply the best debut LP I've heard in my record buying lifetime. Forgot everybody else. Forget work tomorrow. Forget 'American Idol' on the tube. Leave it all behind and listen to 'Die For Us Tonight'. Once. Twice. Then you'll know why I've made such a fuss. You'll understand. How can you rest?'