This album has been twenty years in the making and more. Abandoned projects, time spent writing with and for Mark E Smith both in The Fall and as the separate Smith & Blaney project, writing songs and working with Bolton’s Girl Peculiar and finally Ed Blaney has done it, an album featuring several members of his old 90s Salford band ‘Trigger Happy’, his own kids, Mark E Smith and Girl Peculiar too.
High On You is the sort of obsessive love song that is more Mickey Donovan than Chris Martin, it’s never the less the kind of pop with a hard edge that bands used to churn out for fun around here (posh kids called it Indie, we knew better).
Diamond is a reworking of an old Trigger Happy tune called ‘The Ring’, its another edgy piece of pop bursting with punk energy and attitude, in a similar vein to ‘Rude All The Time’, it couldn’t come from anywhere else.
Secrets with Jenny Shuttleworth (aka Girl Peculiar on vocals) somehow fits in and reminds us that Ed Blaney is a songwriter of some note and that Jenny her self had a distinctive honey voice.
Mark E Smith pops up in fine Fall-esque on – Poizone Fishes, Time For You to Go and the psychedelic whirl of Thinking Of You and then appears on the rather compelling The Coat in conversation with Ed. My personal favourite though is Winner, it reminds me of that darkness and grit that underscored much of Ed Blaney’s Trigger Happy days and some fine guitar from Jim Watts pokes through
This album has taken over 20 years to come together, it was worth the wait in every respect and puts the poseurs, careerists and erstwhile bedwetters that make up part of Manchester’s music scene to shame. Energy, passion, suss and thrust, it’s not just music, at times it’s pop mayhem.