Album Review: Space – “Attack Of The Mutant 50ft Kebab”
Now c’mon, surely that album title at least makes you curious, right? A nice attention grabbing top line (and some decent artwork as well it has to be said) to draw you in, and it’s half the battle won. Trouble is, it’s only half the battle. Case in point – some of you may be aware that a few months ago the Pixies made a comeback album called Indie Cindy. Now that surely has to be one of the worst album titles of 2014, or indeed any year. But if you could get past that, you’d end up finding a pretty solid comeback effort underneath, it’s just that Frank Black and co didn’t exactly do a good job of making you want to pick it up and buy it.
And here, unfortunately, is the other extreme. But a quick bit of backstory first – you may remember Scousers Space from the Britpop era when they put out a series of actually rather good singles and two under-rated albums (1996’s Spiders and 1998’s Tin Planet), which fused some incredibly catchy tunes with some enjoyably warped lyrics about living on council estates full of serial killers, finding that listening to Tom Jones records helps to repress your homicidal urges and the like. Unfortunately, they kind of got lost in the shuffle due to a mix of record company politics and the law of diminishing returns in general and went silent for a bit.
Twelve odd years later and they’ve returned with all the wackiness intact. The tunes, sadly, less so. Fantastic song titles like She’s In Love With The Boy In The Body Bag, Anthony’s Brainwaves and Crying On The Webcam are unfortunately backed up by songs that you’ll have forgotten within a few minutes of hearing them. There’s nothing especially awful here, it’s just incredibly unmemorable which, in some ways, is even worse than it being a musical car crash. Guest List To Hell and Happy Clowns are probably the pick of a decidedly unremarkable bunch, but overall this is a real disappointment. Shame.
You may remember that scene in Spinal Tap where the band, upon finding out their record company has dropped them, say the immortal words "It's freein' up really. Now we've got time to do all those things that we could never do before". Attack Of The Mutant 50ft Kebab is unfortunately the real life equivalent of that - plenty of weird experimental ideas, but very little to actually draw you in. Space are still as endearingly kooky as ever but unfortunately this album completely lacks the earworms that made their earlier efforts such fun. All in all, it's just proof that a great album title will only get you so far.