This review is dedicated to Anthony H. Wilson.
Fuck Keith and Mick, Fuck the Toxic Twins of Aerosmith, and fuck Britney Spears. The greatest rock and roll survivor of all time is one Shaun William Ryder. Here is a man that hasnt made a penny since he was sued by his former managers, a man that helped introduce ecstasy into the United Kingdom, the only person named in the Channel 4 remit as not being allowed on live television, a man that managed to crash three hire cars in a week whilst looking to score, and a man that took enough smack in his prime to kill a blue whale. Somehow this man just wont die. And having reformed the best of the Madchester (thats right, fuck the Stone Roses) bands, the Happy Mondays, again with Bez, original drummer Gary Whelan, and some other guys, the band released their first album since the crack infused, Factory Records bankrupting, Yes Please!: Uncle Dysfunktional.
I love the Happy Mondays. Ryders lyrics, often written off as the crazy nonsensical deluded ramblings of a drug addled moron, are some of the finest crafted street poetry that talk of life in Northern England. Bez with his dancing and his well more dancing, I suppose, the scratchy guitar riffs, and the thumping basslines all combined to make some of the best music of the early 90s. They appeared at the right time to make Factory Records hip and cool again and to rule music with their mixture of dangerous personalities and good time party anthems. Listen to 24 Hour Party People and tell me you dont want to dance like a loon. I dare you.
So you can only imagine my joy when it was announced the gang was getting back together - Ryder, Bez and Gary Whelan at least - for a one off show to help out a friend and his festival. Sure the sound was terrible and Mr. Ryder stood at the back of the stage and read the lyrics off of a cheap teleprompter, but DAMMIT THEY WERE BACK! A short tour later and Bez was in the Big Brother house and that seemed the end of the band again. Fast forward a few years to the awful motion picture Goal!, which was a dreadful waste of everyones time but did have a pretty darn good soundtrack, and the inclusion of Playground Superstar, the first single by the Happy Mondays in far too long. And it had promise for what a new Mondays album could sound like
So finally to the new album twenty years in the making: Its arse; but come on, what did you really expect?
New Order's "Technique," The Stone Roses, The Pre-"Yes Please!" Happy Mondays
3.5 / 10
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