If Whitehouse and Mortimer have ever thought of ramping up their TV theme tune, The Fashion Weak hand them an open goal with new single, Fly Fishing.
Release Date: 4th November 2022
Label: Keep Me In Your Heart
When Dutch house DJ Sidney Samson released the dance track Riverside in 2009, mentions of waders and bait were conspicuous by their absence. Thirteen years on, John MOuse – with the assistance of Lush’s Miki Berenyi – has corrected that universal imbalance under the moniker of his newest project, The Fashion Weak. Never mind Samson and his residencies in Las Vegas; imagine that JR Hartley has grown a luscious handlebar moustache, is sporting a leather peaked cap and a tight white t-shirt and is giving it some in the Blue Oyster Bar from the Police Academy films.
Over a relentless dance beat reminiscent of Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish, MOuse recounts the tale of woman vs fresh-water fish – like Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, but far less torturous, especially as she lands a catch well within three-and-a-half minutes. After our hero has gathered her kit and told her boss, “I’m legally knocking off,” MOuse yells, “She’s goin’ fly fishing,” in a Mark E. Smith-meets-Richard Hell voice. If you’ve ever passed someone next to your local water course sitting on a large plastic box, clad in Goretex, with a can of Carling and some home-made butties, this line sounds incongruously wild and hedonistic. Like the moment you first saw Alice Cooper in golfing attire, but in reverse.
Added to this sonic and visual imagistic bag of cats is the deadpan spoken vocal of Miki Berenyi. Far removed from the ethereal qualities that Lush possessed, Berenyi matter-of-factly recites names of the fly fisher’s potential haul. Lists such as “Perch, chubb, bleak, dace” are uttered rhythmically, just as you once heard “Bolton, Barnsley, Nelson, Colne” at the start of The Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu‘s It’s Grim Up North. As you would expect from John MOuse, we have evocative description (“When the river swells, when it has plentiful flow and great colours”), wilful mundanity (our angler’s night off from watching Drag Race) and some glorious ambiguity at the end, which makes you question why all of the previous events even happened.
Wondering what in the world is going on further prevails on the B side, Headbutting The Llama Food Dispenser. If such terms as ‘B side’ are still relevant, then for The Fashion Weak, ‘B’ is definitely for ‘bizarro’. Set in the now defunct Penyscynor Wildlife Gardens, our narrator learns some harsh life lessons: buying a car sticker for your Cortina, Fiesta or Austin Metro doesn’t make you special; parents will force you to go on the Alpine Slide precisely because they don’t want to watch you for a few minutes, rather than because they do; and stopping yourself at high velocity on the Alpine Slide with your hands is a really bad idea. Let’s hope that the track signifies future compositions in tribute to lost Welsh leisure attractions. If so, I can’t wait to hear a similar paean to Rhyl Sun Centre.
Is the llama food dispenser a piece of machinery, or is it an unfortunate employee? Why is the narrator’s parent giving it a solid penio? Are we likely to wake in the early hours in weeks to come with our inner monologues chanting “Pike, rudd, tench, roach”? The latter is the only question where a firm answer can be derived – very much in the affirmative. Riverside? Let’s go!
Categories: Single Review