The Filthy Tongues – In These Dark Places: Album Review

The Filthy Tongues complete the Edinburgh trilogy in typically sharp style.

Release Date: 27th January 2023

Label: Last Night From Glasgow

Format: CD / digital / vinyl

In These Dark Places is the closing chapter of a trilogy based on The filthy Tongues’ hometown of Edinburgh. It concludes the work from the previous two albums, Jacob’s Ladder and Back To Hell and finds the core trio of Martin Metcalfe, Derek Kelly and Fin Wilson not letting up in their mission to explore some of the darker sides to the fair city.

Darker sides which are explored with some dark and oppressive sounds. Even from the off, the drumbeat of Tricky Nicky is underpinned by an atmosphere of claustrophic fear; a perfect snapshot of In These Dark Places and of dark places; the dark underbelly that lies beneath the glamour and the lights of a major city. Accompanied with the shrill guitar of Gas Mask Blues, we’re in the territory of the Terry Hall and his visions of ghost towns where the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Maybe even conjuring up images of U2 in Berlin, experimenting with some industrial and experimental three piece sounds. Sounds that are explored further with some ethereal and ghostly vocal effects in Nightwalker. A fairground ride around the outskirts of oblivion. You can look but don’t go there.

The diamond dogs referenced in Pandemic Pete might even be mutant breeds from a litter of Bowies’s making scavenging the shadowy corners of the city. The alternative, post punk waves are rolled out thick and fast amidst the starke reality of the morons whose exist alongside the title character. Nightwalker shimmers with a menacing hue, a soundtrack for a haunting ghost train ride

Where Hang My Head builds on a tight and wiry guitar line and a driving pulse, Wash is more minimal, no less brooding naturally, but with the drums adopting a patter of rhythm, the vocal delivers a chilling narrative – dragging heels and barking dogs – and a “gotta wash” mantra. A tense sense of something imminent finally explodes in Here Comes The Wave where the anticipation of slow build becomes a rampant Morricone meets Bo Diddley mash up.

Album closer, Kingdom Of Gold (I’ve got a connection with U2’s With Or Without You here) offers a rare warmth and air of redemption – “I see your hurt, I feel your pain, I’d die for one more chance to try it all again” hints at the possibility of a light at the end of the journey.

In These Dark Places is a unsettling and chilling listen. One where emerging unscathed at the other end will encourage repeat visits. A fatal fascination, morbid interest piqued. As someone may have said, the filthier the better.

Here’s the single – Tricky Nicky:

The Filthy Tongues online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

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