Monday, 11 April 2011

Day 28: Aftershave like mustard...

A country-tinged slow-burner that fixes you with a stare this one, off the excellent Code:Selfish, this has, yet again, a film noir feel, features some nice plonking piano and a cool American accent-tinged vocal performance from MES.

Song: Married, 2 Kids
Album: Code:Selfish

Year: 1992

The lyrics appear to focus on MES's idea of a normal, boring life, which I can dig, he lists things that seem to only affirm that we are all quite self-obsessed and love talking about ourselves, but this seems to be a man looking at himself and realising his life has come to not much: "Got a porta-fax/Aftershave like mustard/Two pints of lager do me in/And The Spirit of Man/Is a pub I go in" this was recorded in 1992 (apparently in an abandoned church in Glasgow) but I'd say the subjects aluded to still stand up today. Everyone has gone even more down this route, facebook means you are wide open to everyone, your dull hobbies, views, photos and banal information is even more tedious than it first was anyway.

I love the references to porta-faxes a very yuppy thing that doesn't really exist any more, the modern equivalent would be a Blackberry or iPhone now I suppose, but back then, it was purely for people who worked in the cut and thrust on business, not everyone and their wife. Mention must also go to the line about aftershave being like mustard, there's some really strange 'fragrances' out there these days, back in 1992 I think it was just taking off in a big way, remember the days when Brut and Old Spice were the only two affordable options? Times have changed.

This song stands out against the rest of the album, in that the rest of the album is quite dance-music heavy, taking influences from techno, its a bit of a driving album (I have this one in my car also) so this is a nice break. It also marks their last album on Phonogram Records, from which they were released from a 5-album deal, following only this album and the previous two being released (Extricate and Shift Work being the others).

I've been listening to this one on repeat while writing and I have to say I think I could carry on doing all afternoon.


  1. got a peculiar goatish smell

    is that really the lyric?

    i kinda saw this song about the fear of getting old (which seems like a theme on this album) and turning into this person but maybe its just mocking the suburban father type.

    2 pints of lager does me in is a great lyric too

  2. Goatish smell?

    Yeah for sure, that theme is bang on I reckon, think he revisits it on 'My Ex-Classmates' Kids' off Are You Are...?

  3. yup it is. or at least someone else hears

    I pretend to go to work
    I pretend to go to work
    Got a porta-fax
    Aftershave like mustard
    Two pints of lager do me in
    And The Spirit of Man
    Is a pub I go in
    I'm married, 2 kids
    Have a peculiar goatish smell
    Am a long-winded article
    I get livid
    Married, 2 kids
    Married, 2 kids