Soon There Will Be Shooting at Unarmed Men marks the beginning of the first new band following the demise of Mclusky. I have to admit to never paying as much attention to them as I’d meant to, but the little I heard sounded excellent, truly maniacal and aggrieved. This is former bassist Jon Chapple’s new venture, on guitar and vocals in a three piece with Steve Morgan drumming, and (for this album) Simon Alexander on bass. I won’t insult any hardcore fans of Chapple’s previous group by trying to draw parallels, and can merely say that the magic present on the little Mclusky material I’d heard is present here, describing it as best I can.
For one thing, these lyrics are spot on. “Impunity Rules” recalls Captain-era Idlewild and the Ruts. Its refrain “forty per cent means you could do a lot better” warms the heart. Instrumentally, Soon flirts with both pummeling indie rock and well-chosen ideas. “The Long and Short of It” has an unconventional pop sound surprisingly reminiscent of the Small Faces. Incidentally, anyone who can write the line “he cuts off his nose and keeps his pride” is in my good books.
“The Pink Ink” feels more revelatory than any number of style over soul Clash ape-ists. It proclaims “an appetite for two and vouchers for handouts” and reminds you of wanting, and what you might want. “There’s a Reason It’s Called the Easy Way Out” is gurning and off-key, like Hefner out to kill. “This much is A Lot” could be an anglicized Big Black, until you realize there’s more than a hint of Mark E. Smith lurking throughout the record. Chapple seemingly screams that he “will not have you play with my belly.” A closing (unnamed) song attacks the ear drums briefly before it dissolves, amidst questioning about eyes in ill-suited places. Soon is a debut that stands ably on its own two feet. I’m looking forward to hearing much more from this band, and any related offshoots…pun intended.
Idlewild – Captain
Big Black – Songs about Fucking
The Fall – Slates