For the uninitiated, the British New Years Honors system is where the Queen doles out Knighthoods. Enabling the recipients to call themselves ‘Sir’ or ‘Dame’. While these gongs find their way into the hands of the undoubtedly deserving, a large portion land in the mitts of individuals who’s main achievement appears to be drawing breath while doing their job. Their purpose is to ‘reward individuals’ personal bravery, achievement, or service to the United Kingdom. So that begs the question why the entire A&R department at Modern Sky UK, aren’t on the list. After spending 2018 releasing music from the hottest new acts in the country, 2019 looks to continue in the same vein. With January 11th seeing debut album by Red Rum Club, Matador.
The long player by the scouse sextet bolts right out of the gate with recent single Angeline. A fitting opener, the track kicks off their live shows and was the first song penned together. Like a statement of intent, it’s Morricone style horns hook you into this high-octane beauty of love slipping away. It doesn’t let up there, as Would You Rather Be Lonely follows in all its cinematic glory. Although released as a single last year, it’s certainly an early contender for catchiest chorus of the year. $20 says you’ll be singing along the second time it comes around.
Hung Up is no less catchy and shows it’s not just Red Rum Club’s sound that’s cinematic. With taught lyrics of love that’s destined for disaster, from a protagonist unable and unwilling to change course. There’s also a lovely 80’s indie pop feel to TV Said So. that evokes the spirit of fellow Scouse super luminaries Echo and The Bunnymen. The towering choruses and horn hooks of Honey should come with a public service warning. Don’t listen to this while driving if you want to avoid a ticket. It’s classic foot to floor stuff.
But like you can’t have a comedy film that’s 90 minutes of jokes, Matador lets you off its anthemic train for Nobody Gets Out Alive and Calexico. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is filler. They’re wonderfully textured tunes that give the flat out bangers on this record space to breath before the Merseyside Tango of Casanova.
The bass is the dark heartbeat of Remedy, which reaches high with horn-drenched, sing-along choruses that are the corner stone of Matador. The title track sees the record out with some wonderful lyrical imagery and a 90’s nod. Closing by wrapping together everything that’s wonderful about this album. It does brilliant job of combining elements, so that this record feels simultaneously fresh, but like you’ve known it all your life.
A killer debut, do yourself a favor and let the horns of Matador blow away your winter blues.
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