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Isa and the Filthy Tongues - New Town Killers

  by John Clarkson

published: 8 / 4 / 2009

Isa and the Filthy Tongues - New Town Killers
Label: Neon Tetra Records
Format: CDS


Exhilarating new single from Isa and the Filthy Tongues, which, featuring several former members of Goodbye Mr MacKenzie, also features the first vocal performance in twenty years from Skids singer Richard Jobson

The ‘New Town Killers’ single sees the return of two of Scotland’s finest singer-songwriters, Richard Jobson and Martin Metcalfe. Jobson was the singer with the punk band the Skids, which had six Top 40 hits in 1979 and 1980, including the massively popular ‘Into the Valley’, which is still played over the tannoy at Jobson’s home town football team’s Dunfermline Athletic’s local games as its squad comes out onto the pitch. He will perhaps draw the most attention of the pair for this. It is his first piece of music in twenty years. It is, however, likely to be a strict one-off. Jobson is now the successful director of four feature films, including the film due out in June (a story set in Edinburgh about a murderous game of cat-and-mouse between two psychotic bankers and a frightened teenager on the margins of society) for which ‘New Town Killers’ is the title song. While he has written its lyrics, Jobson is a shadowy figure on it, providing a rant in the backdrop about Edinburgh’s have and have-nots, and it is primarily Metcalfe’s show. Metcalfe was the vocalist with the always under-rated Edinburgh band Goodbye Mr MacKenzie, that are now most famous for being the first band of Garbage’s Shirley Manson (keyboards, backing vocals), but which also recorded four albums of anthemic alternative rock between 1989 and 1996. In recent times, Metcalfe has sung and played guitar with Isa and the Filthy Tongues, alongside his former Goodbye Mr Mackenzie band mates Finlay Wilson (bass) and Derek Kelly (drums) and American-born singer Stacey Chavis. They released their debut album, 'Addiction', in 2006. If one was to push the clock back fifteen years, ‘New Town Killers’ doesn’t seem all that removed from a Goodbye Mr MacKenzie single. It carries the same thunderous sense of melody and it has similar crunching guitars, a rabble-rousing chorus and gusting vocals from Metcalfe, which Chavis, as Manson used to do in the past, weaves around. What Metcalfe and co. have done they have always, however, done well, and ‘New Town Killers', reminiscent in its spiralling sound of the likes of the Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen, is exhilarating. This is an excellent single from an always good musician and songwriter, who with Jobson’s backing and rarest of vocal outings, will hopefully at last get more of the credit that he deserves.

Track Listing:-
1 New Town Killers

Label Links:-

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Interview (2013)
Isa and the Filthy Tongues - Interview
John Clarkson talks to former Goodbye Mr Mackenzie front man and Isa and the Filthy Tongues member Martin Metcalfe about his new career as a painter and artist and forthcoming musical plans

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Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, 6/2/2010
Isa and the Filthy Tongues - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, 6/2/2010
At the launch gig for their second album 'Dark Passenger', John Clarkson watches Isa and the Filthy Tongues play an enthralling set of alt.rock, but finds them relying too much on thjeir past rather than present catalogue

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Big Star (2009)
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