[sic] Magazine

Scumbag Philosopher – It Means Nothing So It Means Nothing

There’s a real ‘A to Z’ of things to spot in your typical Scumbag Philosopher review.

A usually stands for Abrasive, Agit or Angular.
F is The Fall
G is Gang of Four
P is Peel
W is Wire

You didn’t think I was going to do them all did you? I mean, come on! I do have better things to do with my time. Listening to Scumbag Philosopher though, isn’t a chore. These guys are really rather good. It’s true that you’ll find most of the above references in every review piece going around. There’s a reason for this. It’s all true. 100%, no debate, lock stock and smoking barrel. I’m even guilty myself, twice. Once here and previously when we featured the band in our ‘first glances’ piece.

And yet Scumbag Philosopher transcend this rather clumsy pigeon holing. This they achieve; a) by injecting some self-awareness and a good deal of humour into proceedings and b) by being rather good. Clanging, discordant opener ‘Tick Box Exercise’ is one of many album successes. But it gets even better.’ God Is dead So I Listen To Radiohead’ was, I think, a lead –off single before the album came out and it’s clear why. Witty, incisive lyrics and a hilarious spoof video never allow this track to become mired in Sixth Form territory (as the track name might suggest) My own personal favourite has to be ‘Your Heroes At Home’. Fabulous stuff. More please guys.

And thank f somebody is protesting about something in music. It’s been a while.

As to the tracks I haven’t yet mentioned, approximately half maintain this quality whilst the others dip a bit. Fair enough for an album in this day and age. There’s obviously some way to go to match the tour de force scornfulness of Colin Newman’s continually (after 30 years) excellent Wire . And the Mancs will doubtless say the same of The Fall . No matter. We’re in a different place here, a parallel universe of mirth making mischief. No Zzzzz’s to be found here.

Scum Central.

First Glance.