Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Housemartins - London 0 Hull 4 - 1986

Like a box of chocolate truffles with BBs hidden in them, a Housemartins album offers deceivingly simple and tuneful pop songs that are designed to cause you some discomfort once you start chewing on them. Singer and songwriter Paul Heaton sings with a disarmingly boyish voice, high and adenoidal, and his bandmates contribute angelic harmonies as well as sweet and straightforward guitar pop instrumental settings. But listen closely to Heaton's lyrics and you find yourself plunged into a world of class resentment, bitter economic disappointment, and strangled rage. "Get Up Off Our Knees" includes the deathless couplet "Don't point your fingers at them and turn to walk away/Don't shoot someone tomorrow that you can shoot today," while "Sitting on a Fence" ridicules those who "see both sides of both sides" and "Sheep" bemoans the apathy of the downtrodden masses. Heaton is no simple lefty -- his politics are a strange amalgam of Marxism and Christianity -- but his views are brutally uncompromising, and they constitute a very iron fist wrapped in the velvet glove of the Housemartins' blissful guitar pop. Agree with him or not, there's no denying the music's power. -AMG


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Hebridean Monty said...

Of all the indie pop bands around at the time,I was never able to 'get' these chaps,or understand how they got chart hits...I always felt that Heaton was a bit of a smug git...see,I'm not a pop star...I wear cardigans and anoraks zipped up to the neck on tv shows...I didn't like his next band The Beautiful South either...I'll take Kiss over them any day!Moaning aside,however,I love this treasure trove of a blog!

KDNYfm said...

I think it's pretty good when an artist can make great pop music and still say something relevant. Thanx for sharing this as I cant listen to my vinyl copy right now!

Anonymous said...

pop con excelencia vocal, gracias por compartir!!!!


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