[sic] Magazine

MONEY – The Shadow of Heaven

All too often, new British indie bands decide that the riff is king and that it’s a variant on the template already perfected by My Bloody Valentine or more tragically Editors that holds the key to success. The term landfill-indie is very real and the culprits numerous. What a joy therefore to have a new Manchester band who, like many of their great forebears, determine to perfect musical sweep and scale and are not afraid to highlight their poetic leanings. MONEY are a band firmly in this proud tradition. Fronted by the exuberant Jamie Lee , they have been building up the excitement factor over the recent period to the release of this excellent debut album The Shadow of Heaven .

It could be argued that young men prone to spout the works of Kozlov have no place in rock. Yet surely the time is right again for literate, emotional and spectral music to assert itself proudly? MONEY have well trailed this debut and rightly so. The powerful single ‘Bluebell fields’ was a statement of intent with Lee’s regretful vocal and the bands swirling accompaniment. The gentler ‘Hold Me Forever’ explores the shallowness and fleeting nature of relationships as Lee intones “even if you hold me / if you hold me forever / I’ll become bored / of all of this together / you can praise and thank the lord for keeping us apart” .

The obvious highlight on the album is the brilliant piano ballad ‘Goodnight London’. It is a mesmerising six minute plus lament with Lee showing that he is a songwriter of sheer class. Watch him perform it with passion on the web at an old piano in a bar during one of the Take Away Shows and try not to be smitten. Other songs here that grab you and don’t let go include album opener ‘So Long (God is Dead)’ with a ambiance that recalls The Associates . Others like ‘Black’ and ‘Cruelty is Godliness’ have a spare, sometimes gospel feel and reek cavernous atmosphere.

If there is a slight complaint it is that the production values for the album never quite seem as pristine as Lee’s vocals demand, although that can be addressed on future releases. The band themselves function as a unit that understand the real dynamics of a total system of sound and not a grouping of the sum of the parts. Overall MONEY have constructed an album in The Shadow of Heaven that is not afraid to be dramatic, over the top and revel in its dream-like qualities. They are a band to cherish and it is great to see Manchester rise again.