Simon Love’s début apple, following the dissolution of Welsh pop time travellers The Loves, doesn’t fall too far from the tree. A varied selection of retro-vibed music that channels the most memorable of sixties motifs and stabs holes in them with razor-sharp wit and a plain nastiness that can’t help but make you smile. It’s all rather wonderful really.
First track, ‘**** is a Dirty Word’ sounds like ‘Summer Loving’ from the Grease soundtrack being buggered by The Troggs’ ‘Wild Thing’ in the back seat of a taxi and as Love proclaims, “it’s a crack whore, arsebumming, cocksucking, motherfucking dirty word,” you find yourself agreeing completely. One for the romantics then, as are the fantastic murder fantasies listed in ‘The New Adam & Eve’ which details the ways in which he’d happily kill everyone in the world so long as he can keep his girl. It’s one of the clichés of love songs detailed in the most honest and fundamental way. Boy loves girl and girl loves boy and everyone else can fuck off, alright?
John Lennon apparently returns from the grave to guest vocal on ‘Motherfuckers’ as Love’s vocal invites you to picture yourself in a boat on a river and then drowns you in pools of distorted guitar before trickling into a creepy spoken sample of what sounds like an elderly gentleman expressing his distaste of flesh grown old.
Despite the bitter and mocking lyrical content, one would be unwise to dismiss this record as simply a novelty. The music plunders the back catalogues of so many classic bands and sounds and that it is done so well is a tribute to the songwriter and musicians involved. ‘The Meaning of Love’ is a case in point as its funked up organ groove sounds like James Taylor Quartet playing the backing track to an English Oral exam as guest performer Stewart Lee reads the Wikipedia description of Love aloud. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? It absolutely isn’t.
Dear Boy by Simon Love
Hilarious, yet thought-provoking and pretty invasive, ‘Elton John’ looks through the eyes of the aforementioned singer’s ex-wife: “You’re out fucking men while I’m fucking alone again.” Accusatory and quite honestly, not something that’s been documented in any obvious musical form before. Did it need saying? Not really, but as Love meditates on the final song of the album, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Some people will think this record is vulgar and twisted but these are the hypocrites who pretend to be offended by bad language but will go home and watch hours of revenge porn on the internet. Because dealing with the themes and ideas of romance isn’t a clean business; love is a dirty word and this release encompasses the grit and the dirt and all the other filth found therein.
You’ll want to play this to your friends – at first because your mean-spirited self thinks it’s funny – and then again later because you need to convince them of its genius. Some friends won’t get it and they’ll think you’re a horrible person for liking it. You don’t need those friends. All you need is Love.
Reviewer: Nick Wesson