AGAINST THE EIGTHIES
A DENIM revival is way overdue. But can you call it a revival if the band was never succesful to begin with?
In the eighties, there was a band called FELT, and they were the best British indie band of that sorry decade. Unfortunately, the few people that might have been interested were too busy jerking off to pictures of Morrissey, listening to boring shit like Echo and the Bunnymen, saying no to drugs and keeping off meat.
After releasing ten albums and ten singles in ten years, Lawrence disbanded FELT and formed a new band for the new decade.
DENIM, it seems, was formed for all the wrong reasons, mainly bitterness.
Every second of the two albums they released seems to be saying: "I'll show these fuckers! So they didn't care that I had the right influences and I was going for the sound of VU's 3rd album? OK, from now on I'll go for MOR, I'll go for Bubblegum! They didn't care that I discovered genius keyboard player DUFFY before he left me for Primal Scream? Alright, I'll take Gary Glitter's group as my backing band! They didn't care about the heartfelt lyrics I wrote? From now on all my songs will be novelty/tongue in cheek with ironic lyrics and clever titles! They didn't care that I was one of the few musicians who didn't fall for that 80s sound? From now on it's gonna be MIDI on every song! Shit, in fact I'll use every single 80s sounding gimmick!"
Of course, by the time BACK IN DENIM was released (1992) with songs named I'M AGAINST THE EIGHTIES or MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, these sounds were so completely passé, and DENIM had even less success then FELT. The follow-up DENIM ON ICE (1996) was even more drenched in bitterness (it opens with the anti-Britpop anthem THE GREAT PUB-ROCK REVIVAL) and delusions of superiority (one track is called BEST SONG IN THE WORLD, and it's not even the best song on that album).
DENIM albums also featured genuine, tender (albeit disturbing) songs about Lawrence's experiences like growing up in the 70s (THE OSMONDS) or being addicted to heroin (GLUE AND SMACK). But my absolute favorite song is the ballad SYNTHESIZERS IN THE RAIN, which sounds like an outtake from THE LADY IN RED soundtrack gone right.
Nowadays, Lawrence fronts GO-KART MOZART, and goes for an 8-bit sound. I reckon fifteen years from now, this band will sound right.
And here is a rare DENIM television appearance on Jools Holland's BBC show from 1992. It takes forever to load, but it's really worth the wait. And yes, it does feature The Glitter Band.