8 May 2010

My Jealous God - Easy

My Jealous God - Easy

Label: Fontana
Year of Release: 1992

In the early nineties, the British music press probably used the word "opportunistic" to describe up and coming acts more than any other word. Many of the journalists writing at that point had been working on the papers when punk broke, and an obsession with authenticity remained. Therefore, "fake baggy bands" were as frowned upon as "fake punks" were in the seventies. And if you were a "fake baggy band" it normally meant you hailed from dahn sarf rather than oop north, emerged after the Stone Roses' first album, and stuck looping funky rhythms over everything you did in a desperate bid to get on to the Sunday Top 40 countdown on Radio One.

When My Jealous God emerged in 1989, suspicion about their motivations lingered heavily amongst most hacks, and their reputation has been dogged even today. Whilst anecdotal personal experiences count for little, I was trying to explain to a friend how great this single was a few months back, and he waved me away laughing "Oh go away, My Jealous God were just shit!" He had no interest in listening to the thing.

That's his loss, in my opinion, though - as it will be yours too if you can't be bothered to click play below. "Easy" is probably one of the finer singles to be released during the baggy era, plonked out by a major label long after the party had ended, and thus utterly punctured on the two-pronged assault of changing fashions and critical hostility. It sounds uncannily like a lost Blur single from the same era, but padded out with squawking organ noises, sixties psychedelic throwback melodies and an insistent, nagging hook. Had it been released either two years earlier or a few years later, it may have met with a more sympathetic audience, but otherwise, it was lost amidst the sea of shoegazing and grunge singles in 1992.

The disinterest "Easy" created seemed to kill the band off. There were to be no further releases - no singles, and no debut album. They disappeared very rapidly, and the lead singer Jim Melly has apparently since become a Professor of Popular Culture who has written several articles and books on various rock bands. The whereabouts of other band members Danny Burke, Chris O'Donnell and Andrew Berkeley remain less clear - but perhaps they'll treat us to a reformation on one fine day, and release the album that should have been.


4 comments:

Cocktails said...

I remember this band distinctly - the NME called them 'My Jealous Plod' I believe and they had rubbish hair cuts. However, I never actually heard anything by them, I think that the music press well and truly killed off any chance of them getting a release in Australia.

But bloody hell, it is quite good. In retrospect, it's a pity that they didn't do anything else.

23 Daves said...

I personally think it's great, although to put the views of the music press into some sort of context, their first two singles "Everything About You" and "Pray" aren't anything particularly special (although I have met some defenders of the former).

Still, they never really released a single that could honestly be described as "bad", and there were certainly plenty of far worse bands selling much more and even getting the odd dose of critical acclaim.

Anonymous said...

Try here:

http://www.myspace.com/myjealousgodvaudeville

Kolaboy said...

Great underrated band. The press can really be bastards...