Released: 2nd October 2020
Shouty post-punk influenced bands are everywhere now – go on, check down the back of the sofa, we bet you’ll pull out at least one of The Murder Capital, or a couple of members of Do Nothing. With that in mind, how does a band stand out in such a crowded field? If Working Men’s Club are anything to go by, the answer is a drum machine and a hell of a lot of synths.
Hailing more from the Fat White Family tree than the IDLES contingent, their self-titled debut is sweaty, grubby and completely unforgettable. Opener ‘Valleys’ is a rather bold six-and-a-half-minute mission statement on which frontman Sydney Minsky-Sargeant’s vocals bump up against Human League synths bump and odd insectoid noises, the energy never dipping throughout. Follow-up ‘A.A.A.A’ is more of the same, with plenty of yelping and a lot of cowbell (yes, it’s exactly as barmy as it sounds).
There’s no drop off in quality as the album goes on either, with the one-two punch of ‘Cook a Coffee’ and ‘Teeth’ towards the tail-end landing just as well, if not better, than the openers do. Even the twelve minute closer somehow manages not to outstay its welcome, and we normally get bored of any track that hits the four minute mark.
It’s rare that a band who seem so geared towards chaotic live shows manage to capture the same energy on record, and even rarer for them to manage it on their debut, but Working Men’s Club seem to pull it off without even trying. It’s as if Fat White Family if they’d spent their formative days at the Hacienda, instead of a Brixton pub.