Hornsey’s favourite monocularly monikered new wavers One Eyed Wayne are back with the follow up to their well received debut Attack of the Luxury Flats.
But, while it must have been tempting to repeat the formula, it doesn’t take long to realise Saucy Postcards Super Creeps is a very different beast to its predecessor.
The vitriol has been dialled back a notch and some of the rougher edges sanded down, in what feels like a band discovering their own sound.
Despite the Bowie references in the album title and songs like 45 minutes and Yoyo, the band’s influences are less obvious this time around.
The lyrics too are markedly different, elliptical and redolent rather than explicit and direct.
There’s a greater emphasis on production, with keyboards – Hammond organ in particular – given increased prominence.
The songwriting feels more relaxed and confident, tunes are given more room to breathe and there’s greater stylistic variation.
If the album has a theme, it’s about time – from the cruelty of its passing and the ageing process, A Piece Of This Romance, to the simple joy of letting it slip through your fingers on Waste of a Day.
45 Minutes shows the band experimenting with quiet, loud dynamics, while Yoyo‘s psych-rock organ put me in mind of The 13th Floor Elevators.
Songs like …Romance, Thousand Dreams and The Body’s Gone display their ability to conjure engaging and sympathetic characters with just a few well chosen lines.
Pickle offers humour and rollicking skabilly in equal measure, while musical surprises like the violent key change on Man From Uncool, keep listeners on their toes.
But the highlight for me is the run in, the quartet – Steve Donoghue, Don Adams, Pat Joslin and Dean Leggett – saving their best till last with Neverborn and Old Man’s Balloons.
Dripping with righteous indignation, Neverborn sounds a bit like early Fall, its nightmarish descending lead line setting the mood, as bodies doss in doorways ‘settling down for the freeze’.
Composed in musical hall-style waltz time, album closer Old Man’s Balloons tells the story of an otherwise decent old boy, who pays a high price for swallowing ‘the garbage of the gutter press’.
It’s a richly evocative piece which could indicate the future direction of this fast developing band.
When reviewing their debut, I suggested they wore their influences too obviously and should concentrate more on coming up with their own sound.
I hugely doubt they played the slightest attention, but that’s exactly what they’ve done with this record.
A stranger, more complex, album than their debut, but all the more intriguing for that.
- Saucy Postcards and Super Creeps is out now via Optic Nerve Recordings on this link.
- One Eyed Wayne will be supporting The Wedding Present on various dates of their Bizarro 30th anniversary tour.
- For more about the band visit their Facebook page here.