This review is from: Vulnerabilia (Audio CD)
. The themes on Vulnerabilia (the title suggests a concept) relate to simple everyday mundanity and towards drug addiction and much in between. But this is not an indulgently bleak album. Comparing well with the classic work of New Order or Happy Mondays before them this is a very literal body of work- lyrics that don't echo -rather ram down the throat the despondency of a life with no outlook somewhere in Manchester and musically the feel of the stamp of locality and its roots.
On it's own terms it's an audacious record and despite the duo's origins doesn't sound much like the aforementioned bands or for that matter anything like Stone Roses who's producer John Leckie is involved here. And whereas Manchester bands tended to fuse sounds most notably deft beats to melancholic hooks this dramatically veers from styles from opposite ends of the spectrum to the other in a schizophrenic fashion. Perhaps most obviously on Magic Bus -one moment a quality techno stomp gives way to evocative classical piano then to 50's sci- fi theremin sounds in it's dramatic conclusion. Preposterous - it shouldn't work but it seems, almost organic.
The guy who worked at Action Records wanted to listen to this but unfortunately for him I bought the last of what was likely few copies, - it (the record) deserved a better fate. Yet significant sales success, seemed ludicrous given the gloomy demeanour and lo- fi production- Unpolished, even rustic the joins in this album are laid bare. In short one of the astonishing/underrated albums of the last ten years.