Updated: Apr 22, 2021
Why the single from WMC self titled debut album captures the overall mood of 2020...
Written by Scarlet Hall 18.01.21
All new music to me was “meh”. I was trapped in the wormhole of the ‘samey’ sounding indie bands. But I was looking through tunnel vision at new music because one cold October night I went to see a band that opened my eyes to so much more, they were called Working Men's Club.
PHOTO BY PIRAN ASTON
I had bought a ticket to this gig at my local venue not knowing who the band’s playing were, but when I came in from the smoking area to hear ‘Teeth’ being played on stage, I was immediately entranced. The dirty sounding synth being played over and over, the cowbell and the lyrics “I see grit in your teeth”. It was just right. Front-man Syd Minsky didn't crack a smile the whole performance, he stood up on that stage in a trance to his own beat. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. In that moment they became one of my favourite new bands, there was nothing I didn't like about them and their sound. Over a year later they still surprise and excite me. In October 2020 they released their self-titled debut album just before we went into the second lockdown in the UK, their first track on the album ‘Valleys’ couldn't be more pertinent and relatable. The 6 and a half minute song has an old skool dancey feel to it making it sound like something straight out of the factory records and hacienda era, but still keeping it so true to the sound of Working Men's Club.
PHOTO BY STEVE GULLICK
The first line of the song “ Trapped inside a town, inside my mind” was something that stayed with me long after the song was over. I know there are hundreds of songs about wanting to escape your hometown and outgrowing a place but I think as a young person today this can be interpreted into more than just that. We live in a different time to most generations before us, we are living in a global pandemic and we’re almost coming up to the 1 year anniversary of the first lockdown and are currently in our third. Staying in your hometown is the law during these lockdown periods and the effect it has on young people with big dreams, plans and ambitions is really intense for some, if not everyone. Even just the social isolation we all are going through is having impacts on mental health and wellbeing. However, what I really love about this song is that even though the lyrics are about feeling trapped and claustrophobic, the song lets you dance through those feelings, it lets you release all those emotions for those 6 mins knowing that you’re not alone in experiencing all of these things. It creates a feeling of unity and togetherness in a time where we are forced to be alone.
If you haven’t heard this song or listened to the album I recommend you do! You won't be disappointed, it’s packed full of inauspicious drum machines, echoey vocals and industrial synths. To my ears it’s perfection!
GO HAVE A LISTEN > Spotify – Working Men's Club