It’s not very often that a new band emerges that generates a buzz of genuine excitement. However, a new group has just materialised that not only boasts bags of potential but has a lot to say: a rare currency amongst the contemporary crop of bands.
Calling themselves Divorce Finance, aesthetically, this batch of characters looks more like a company you’d normally expect to see fighting for one of the many Republican factions against the forces of Franco during the Spanish Civil War. However, this only adds to the mystique.
Hailing from the wind-battered terraces of Leeds, Divorce Finance is comprised of Mr Discipline, Dr Fuck, Kylie Monoxide, Hugh Jass and Quick Lewinsky, and together they create ominous Americana that mixes in the psychobilly of The Cramps with Yorkshire’s very own kind of cynicism, topping with a garnishing to the flavour of more obscure Ennio Morricone cuts for good measure. Together, these three very disparate elements combine to create a wicked sound that instantly pulls in the listener.
Added to this, there’s a genuine sense of nihilism running throughout their music, the feeling that would make the average Radio 6 listener squirm over their muesli — but that’s exactly what it’s all about. The project is supposed to be thought-provoking, and Divorce Finance arrives as the shot in the arm music needs to wake up from its current malaise of complacency. A press statement clarifies: “Divorce Finance is the product of derealisation, hauntology, nostalgia and frustration. Shaped by a punk hindsight along with the influence of DIY recording and old-time country music; Divorce Finance brings a sleazy, disturbed edge to a jukebox of Cold War flavoured Americana.”
The band is something of a supergroup, and it features a host of figures who has played in some of the most seminal Yorkshire bands of the past ten years, such as Lumer, Pillgrinns and Kairos. This previous experience has stood them in good stead, collectively giving the band a vast artistic library to pull from.
The debut single by Divorce Finance is entitled ‘Django’, and it’s a masterclass in social commentary. Frontman Mr Discipline tears apart our modern affinity for hero worship and the fact that, as a collective, we love to place figures on pedestals, even though they’re not worthy of it.
Not content with just one damning criticism, the new song also goes for the jugular of the most recent iteration of post-punk with deadly accuracy, and the explicit mention of Mark E. Smith rip-offs is just the icing on the cake. The influence of The Cramps is evident, as is that of more artful punk acts such as Einstürzende Neubauten, creating a potent mixture that has you pressing repeat immediately.
Channelling their inner Django across the track’s three-minute duration, we hear Divorce Finance duel with many of our collective enemies, beating them to the pull of the trigger and swiftly dispatching with them. The closing line, “justice / in the name of art”, speaks to the way we seem to covet the pretentious and the hollow at this present juncture and shows it for what it is, utterly ludicrous.
The band explained: “Django is an observation of 21st-century idolatry and the infinite flow of generational disdain. In the guise of an ode to both gypsy jazz guitar hero Django Reinhardt and Sergio Corbucci’s fictional blood-stained gunslinger, Django both lambasts influencer culture and celebrity worship whilst satirising the traditional homogenous definition of what makes a hero. Musically backed by signature wonky, rockabilly-esque guitars and bass with a little influence from Reinhardt himself, Django is the perfect introduction to the screwed up world of Divorce Finance.”
The following segment of lyrics delineates what Divorce Finance’s outlook on the world is. You can’t help but laugh at their use of the Foo Fighters frontman’s real name: “David Grohl / Tommy Shelby / Whoever’s the hero these days / Everyone thinks / They’re Mark E. Smith / But I / Just wanna be Django”.
I guarantee that ‘Django’ will be stuck in your head for days. It wastes no time getting right to the point, and it’s very refreshing. Keep an eye on this collective of anti-heroes, as the future looks incredibly bright.
Listen to ‘Django’ by Divorce Finance below.