Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today - McCarthy

My fondness for McCarthy was partly founded in their politics - at a time when Thatcher and her Tory party seemed hell bent on destroying all that I believed in, I was excited to find anyone who railed against them - and McCarthy railed...I vaguely remember them dissing Billy Bragg in an interview for being too right wing.

But beyond their politics they made just the sort of guitar pop that I loved then (and still pretty much love now). Their last album really does seem to be the end of the road though - not because it's bad (it's very good). But more because it seemed that McCarthy (like Thatcher) was a thing of the 80s (Thathcer was ousted within six months of the release of this album).

Let's look at the evidence...

  • It included a prominent role for Laetitia Sadier whose credits up until this point where for translating McCarthy lyrics into French. Laetitia and Tim Gane of course went on to form Stereolab.
  • It included a shameless (and utterly brilliant) attempt to jump on the baggy bandwagon (Get a Knife Between Your Teeth).
  • It was shinier, more produced than their previous efforts.
I saw what was (possibly) their penultimate performance at ULU supporting The Chills, they were plagued by poor sound but I still remember it fondly. I love Stereolab and for a while it seemed that Malcolm Eden's Herzfeld would also help fill the hole that McCarthy left.

If pushed I'd probably say I prefer I Am a Wallet - but I definitely listen to this one more.