Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The End Of A Beautiful Career

If you’ve not been paying much attention recently, you may have led to believe that Angelica are no more than the next Kenickie. While some may judge that as an achievement in itself, 'The End Of Beautiful Career' sees Angelica step out of the shadow of their defunct contemporaries and gleefully announce their arrival at the debutante ball. This is how Kenickie must have sounded in Johnny X’s most vivid dreams, if you can look past the incestuous undertones implied by that notion. If they had grown up wanting to be Scorpions rather than Pink Ladies; if their favourite film had been the Wicker Man instead of Saturday Night Fever; and if they’d hadn’t gone Disco, but gone looking for a disco that played Fugazi; then this what is the first Kenickie album could have been.

Despite Holly’s sweet, almost child-like voice, a closer listen to her lyrics reveals a tendency towards extreme violence and retribution, a little like adding your artificial sweetener to your morning coffee only to that discover your spoonful of saccharine has a strychnine aftertaste. So 'Bring Back Her Head' describes how she wants to treat the new girlfriend with the same malice that nice girls usually reserve for their Barbie, while 'All I Can See' makes clear her intention to gouge your eyes out the first time you piss her off. Where debut single 'Teenage Girl Crush' saw Angelica set themselves up as Skinned Teen with talent, much of this album suggests that these girls have been listening to the sound of underground America since, and when Brigit takes over the vocals for 'Concubine Blues', we’re treated to a less intricate take on Sleater-Kinney, before the guitars go all Sebadoh on 'You Fake It, You Make It'.

Occasionally, their true ability is only hinted at rather than given the opportunity to flourish, but then everyone hates a teenager who thinks that they know it all. By the end of the year though, the lazy comparisons should be all but forgotten. Until then, be warned, there’s enough evidence here to suggest that if you dare mention the K-word to their faces, they’re not so likely to kick you in the bollocks as rip them off, stick 'em in a jar and post them to your mother for as a Christmas present, before going home to write a song about it.