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Percy - Seaside Donkeys

  by Kimberly Bright

published: 9 / 8 / 2020

Percy - Seaside Donkeys
Label: Vinyl Eddie
Format: CD


Yorkshire-based post-punk act Percy are back with a full-throttle discordant collection of scenes from real life which is ugly, beautiful, funny, and frightening.

Few bands in the world, let alone in York alone, have been plagued with as much bad luck as the post-punk Percy. After starting out in 1996 they were lauded by John Peel and Steve Lamacq but ended up with an album’s worth of material shelved indefinitely. The band returned in 2008 following a long hiatus due to mental health struggles, financial problems, raising young families, and line-up changes. 'Seaside Donkeys' is their follow-up to 2018’s 'Sleepers Wake', and features two of the original members, Colin Howard (vocals and guitar) and Andy Wiles (bass), battle worn and not giving up. The energy-filled, riff-heavy 'Back in the Swing' may well refer to a return to a normal life and creative career. The rocking 'Rubbernecking in the UK;, with its shout-outs to probably all of Britain’s tailgaiting-prone main highways and secondary roads, sounds like something Half Man Half Biscuit would do, as does 'Carpe Diem', a rueful tale of consumerism and overspending that ends with the overextended shopping addict having to move back in with his mother. Colin’s no-bullshit delivery on anti-Brexit screed 'The Will of the People' really makes the song, with the chorus sarcastically spat out like an even more disgruntled than usual Lydon or the late Bon Scott. The rollercoaster of difficult emotions and painful real-life mature situations dominates the second half of the album. 'The Ones Who Drank Themselves to Death' involves harrowing and nauseatingly accurate descriptions of alcoholics on their deathbeds following a last defiant "fatal binge.” Alcoholism and its genetic generational curse further dominate the title deceptively cheerful, Celtic punk sing-along 'Seaside Donkey', with its self-pitying refrain about not being ultimately left alone despite a less than stellar track record as a family member. 'Love Song', with its eerie bass line straight out of a horror video game plot, is all-around disturbing on a level normally associated with Rammstein: a frantic, obsessive “love” that sounds more like an abduction similar to John Fowles’ novel 'The Collector'. (I’m pretty convinced that the object of the narrator’s affection is dead in a box on his property somewhere by the end of the song.) Thank God, there’s room for more humour in 'A Little Trouble in Big Lils' and optimism in the closing track 'A Better Life',reminiscent of dark but uplifting Jarvis Cocker, which gives a much needed resolution and closure to the album. The overall level of songwriting skill is undeniably impressive, but I think the more raucous tracks are the ones worth returning to repeatedly.

Track Listing:-
1 Seaside Donkey

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