Insecure Men – Insecure Men

Formed out of dark times, but with melodies to lift the heaviest of hearts, welcome to the bizarre world of the Insecure Men. They’re another band comprising members of the Fat White Family, either current or ex members (it’s often hard to tell with that lot, who’s in and who’s out!), but all maintaining the trick of walking the tightrope between gloomy subject matter and some fine melodic moments.

The Insecure Men are Saul Adamczewski and Ben Romans-Hopcraft, forming after Saul had been kicked out of Fat White Family for his well documented battles with drugs. After a stint in rehab, and now clean and sober, moving away from the guitar driven sounds and frenetic energy of the Fat White Family has led them to this blend of synth driven highly melodic pop. But don’t get the jazz hands, and loafers out just yet, for although musically some of it could easily be lumped under the banner of “easy listening pop”, lyrically, easy-going it definitely is not.

Kicking off with ‘Subaru Nights’ it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security as its delicate melodies work their charm with xylophone notes weaving in and out of guitar and keyboard riffs. It’s gentle but with a dark undercurrent, like watching the sunset on an exotic beach somewhere, whilst the world burns all around you – beauty and darkness in one five minute burst. Then there’s ‘Heathrow’, with its guitar twangs, combined with synths making crazy sounds like hungry cats on the prowl, all held at bay by gentle calypso style slide guitars and those tinkling xylophones again. What is actually has to do with the airport, or place I’ve no idea, but it sounds suitably nightmarish, like Disneyworld meets the devil.

‘I Don’t Wanna Dance With My Baby’ is simply warped pop perfection, with those Bontempi style keyboards bouncing along under one of the catchiest tunes you’ll hear all year, like John Shuttleworth meets Pulp – it’s bizarre but it works so well. ‘The Saddest Man In Penge’, has uplifting brass bursts, and another catchy easy going melody which masks the true tale that it was apparently written while Saul was working on a building site, living at his mum’s but spending all his wages on crack, whereas ‘Ulster’ has calypso style sounds mixed with guitars and keyboards which sound like the opening credits for some long lost 80s crime drama, whilst Saul sings about “Jerry Adams on the highway with his bag of magic beans”, no I wasn’t on acid when I wrote this review, but by the end of it certainly felt like I had been!

The Insecure Men write about subjects no one else would dream off in a million years, then set them to the most easy going lounge-style tunes you can find, another fine example being ‘Whitney Houston & I’ about the similarities between Whitney and her daughter, told from the daughter’s perspective beyond the grave. Insecure Men manage to wrap up many a shadowy line within their catchy melodies, it’s often hard to know what to think. The only solution is to just enjoy it for what it is, and realise that they’re absolute warped pop masterminds, who’ve just created an eccentrically brilliant debut album.

Release Date 23/02/2018 (Fat Possom Records)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.