# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Would Be Goods - The Morning After

  by Dominic B. Simpson

published: 17 / 10 / 2004

Would Be Goods - The Morning After
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Sophisticated and existential indie pop on fourth album from much acclaimed long-serving London-based group, the Would-Be-Goods

If Would-be-Goods were a film, they’d be a cross between a defiantly European director’s meisterwork, something by Goddard or Truffaut, on the one hand; and a stylish Swinging London film like 'Blow-Up' or 'Scandal' on the other. A scene from this film would involve people (in black and white, of course) sipping cappuccino in a bar in Soho reading Sartre and discussing existentialism. You could almost imagine this album being a concept based around the life of the lead actor in 'Blow-Up.' The lyrics variously mention walking in Regent’s Park and “looking out over rain tops in the rain”; with some inevitability there’s a song ('Le Crocodile') in French; there’s plenty of “ba-ba-bas” and sugary harmonies. And one of their early EP’s was named after 'Jean De Florette' actress Emmanuelle Beart. This doesn’t mean that you should hate them, however. Three smartly dressed gals and one guy on Fortuna Pop (home to The Butterflies of Love, Finlay, etc.), they’re no flash in the pan, as their history attests – one that stretches back as far as 87, with their line-up having brought together numerous members of the London indie scene from that decade: twee janglers (and proto-Heavenly) Talulah Gosh; art-punks the Monochrome Set; and primitive garage rockers Thee Headcoatees, which featured Billy Childish (in one of his numerous incarnations) and Holly Golightly (the garage trash of 'Miss La-di-dah'revisits that band’s sound). There’s points on this album where you can almost imagine a factory churning this stuff out, such is the perfectly arranged 60’s melodies. There's still, however, some smart songwriting here, particularly on the strong opener 'Pantomime Devil', ostensibly a diatribe against an unnamed person deceptively juxtaposed against a sunny music backing. The title track uses a hangover as a metaphor for a deeper disillusionment as the protagonist wakes up to the reality of addressing problems which can’t be pasted over like cracks , while ‘Bluebeard’ is the strongest track on here, with it’s beautiful clear guitar motif and wonderful echoing chorus line. The album’s most surprising moment, though, comes with the brutally honest 'Too Old', with it’s heart-breaking lyrics that address a decaying relationship, the singer facing being “too old to rock ‘n’ roll” before tossing off a cheeky Velvet Underground-referencing line like : “You like to see yourself / The way you used to be / Well, I’ll be your mirror / But you’ll not like what you see” and, most revealing of all, “You look at other women / I dream of other men / But we both know we couldn’t / Face such disappointment again”. Such highlights are not always sustained on the album as a whole, however, and the album would be better served by trimming off three songs to put on an EP, with a feeling of sameness occasionally pervading across the album’s twelve tracks. The flawed lack of a change to the album’s central formula remains the thorn in the side of 'The Morning After'. Still, as an antidote to the lad-rock of Jet and other pretenders claiming the “garage rock” crown, this is a welcome antidote of sophistication.

Track Listing:-
1 Pantomime Devil
2 The Morning After
3 Bluebeard
4 Big Cat Act
5 Le Crocodile
6 Too Old
7 What Adam And Eve Did Next
8 I Broke The Spell
9 The King Of Lace
10 Miss La-Di-Dah
11 Innocent Abroad
12 Dear St. Valentine

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