I, Ludicrous: Dull is the New Interesting – album review
I, Ludicrous : Dull Is The New Interesting (Cherry Red)
First album in 10 years from I, Ludicrous is an angry, intelligent and un-pindownable collection of instant classics.
The Sleaford Mods might be everyone’s current trendy rage faves, but who’s been skewering the world of man-bag carrying hipsters arrogantly pushing their way through the highways and byways of the country while they fart around with an I-Pad, daft “celebrity culture”, dull workplaces, daytime TV and Billy Liar-type dreamers in a much more subtle way for nearly 30 years? I, Ludicrous that’s who. And now they’re back with their first LP in a decade and it’s a corker.
Although The Fall are always quoted as an influence I, Ludicrous to me are more like a Kinks for the present age, one that’s sidestepped the theatrical aspersions of the Davies boys to concentrate on the little victories and big losses of real people’s lives. Unlike a lot of musicians, they actually seem to live in the real world and write about it. It rings true. Will Hung’s lyrics are excellent throughout, a result of far more gigging far more in recent years (I’ve seen them four times and they’ve been better each performance). They’ve sharpened up their musical attack to a fine point.
If they do have one thing in common with The Fall it’s that they can ring variety from the same basic template: voice, guitar, bass and drum machine. It’s always I, Ludicrous and always different. This LP for me is their best work yet. Tightening the mesh of sound and honing the lyrical muse, we have 10 tracks that work as a state of the UK address (plus one cover).
If We’re Signed is a look into the thought process of a band on the up and Cheer Up (with a slight Chinese Rocks inflection) a V sign to anyone who might term them miserablists, we’re soon into the Kinks-style character sketch of George Jenkins, an ex-miner who suffered through the miners’ strike. Along the way we also discover for the first time an explanation of “the way that science works” in Old Professors Young Professors or the tale of gloomy suburban life in Hacky’s Wine Bar.
Other songs feature tales of obsessions with a girlfriend’s mum, depression and how the thieving tendencies of business men have probably resulted in the charming “austerity” we’re all having to live through.
Clerking Til I Die is a classic that will ring true to millions of people all over the country stuck forever in silly little jobs, being bossed over by silly little managers that try to run a small office like they would if they were chairman/woman of ICI. I live it and you probably do to. I, Ludicrous catch it perfectly – for once let the idiots sweat it out in the spotlight.
It finishes with a surprising live cover of Third World War’s Ascension Day, aligning the band to a revolutionary spirit that in an odd way makes absolute sense. You might not find Dull Is The New Interesting where it deserves to be on many best of year round ups, so find it in your CD collection instead.
All words by Ian Canty whose author profile is here.