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Credit: Andy Nicholson

Music

Working Men’s Club get manic with new single ‘Ploys’

@TomTaylorFO
Working Men's Club - 'Ploys'
7.7

“Being sad makes me happy,” Working Men’s Club sing over a synth sound that makes you feel like you’re a ping-pong ball in the midst of a particularly technical rally between Paul the Octopus and some comic book assailant with whose multi-armed and dangerous.

This gnarled juxtaposition of manic musical energy and the withdrawn delivery of despondent introspection certainly makes for a melon twisting three minutes. 

“When we talk of the times / we talk in the past tense,” they go on to droll. Well, it is also very true that Working Men’s Club are trying to freshen things up with their current sound. ‘Ploys’ follows on from ‘Widow’ released just a few weeks back and hints that the sinister, underground Pet Shop Boys sound will form the lifeblood of their forthcoming album Fear Fear.

This latest effort almost seems like anti-club club music. All things are in contrast in a swirl as the synth rhythm gets the night going but the strange drum distortion and lyrical context simply pines to be in the smoking area, and occasionally at home on the couch. It might reflect spiritual uncertainty in this regard, but it is very sure-footed in terms of intent and sound. 

Speaking of the record, singer and songwriter Syd Minsky-Sargeant declared: “The first album was mostly a personal documentation lyrically, this is a blur between personal and a third-person perspective of what was going on.”

Continuing: “I like the contrast of it being happy, uplifting music and really dark lyrics. It’s not a minimal record, certainly compared to the first one. That’s because there’s been a lot more going on that needed to be said.”

For the album, the band teamed up with famed Arctic Monkeys, Mia and more producer Ross Orton. He has given the record an expressive sound without it becoming too disillusioning, albeit tracks like ‘Ploys’ might seem that way if you catch them on a Monday morning. Nevertheless, they have their own weird place, even if it isn’t one signposted by ‘constant repeat’ or ‘earworm next right’. Instead, it resides at Manic Street Despondency.

You can check out the Edwin Burdis-directed video for ‘Ploys’ below. 

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