Not every band would have the nerve to open up their album with a cheery little ditty about someone being attacked by an earwig. Imagine how that goes over back in the corporate offices – “Psss – did you hear that new group we signed? Man, they’re weird”. No, not weird, James. Not as in Dean (though Morrissey is a big fan). As in four men with some very unusual, sometimes caustic, sometimes surreal and totally individual songs to parlay to a world that needs a little something different to shake things up a bit. Which the band did on their first album, STUTTER, a dollop of post-punk, post-modern strangeness thrown on top of an often uncomprehending music world. However, one doesn’t have to be an Einstein to recognise that this bunch from Manchester, where some of England’s most creative bands (The Fall, Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths) have taken root, is ready to join its predecessors ranks.
On the other side of the Atlantic, James’ unique folk-punk-pop intellectual cut-up-cabaret synthesis (whew!) caught the ear of rock critic, Patti Smith guitarist and Suzanne Vega producer Lenny Kaye. Kaye, who produced the group’s debut album STUTTER, knows a special sound when he hears one. As will you, after hearing “What For”, the special inclusion here from the singular James.