narcissus: A Sense Of Place
Vinyl | CD
Released 21st October available here
narcissus finally grace us with their long awaited debut album which gets a deserved five bombs and it’s the treat we’ve all been waiting for says Wayne AF Carey…
Manchester’s narcissus have been through the wars. 14 years later they finally deliver a long awaited album that’s full of funk, hip hop, soaring vocals and some great electronica that hits the heights. LTW interviewed them here back in 2018 when they were on the verge of releasing this debut before Covid hit. They also got a right royal fucking from their publishing company which folded when they were on the verge of hitting the heights. Omertà were on that same roster, another group that grafted like fuck and if you’re a music fan with a taste of music history you know where they are now! Just read the interview and see what I’m on about. Fortunes turned for narcissus when they released their debut double A single here on 42’s Records before the world got messy. Not ones for giving up they returned in 2021 with the excellent cuttin’ thru red tape produced by Simon ‘Ding’ Archer reviewed here and we now arrive at their long awaited debut album…
Kicking in with the electronica of send in the clowns it flows into a cracking house beat with the great lines of “I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire”. A great starting track flecked with funk and the double trouble of Ben Guy and Becki Fishwick. the window is an old tune that Becki brings to the forefront. A smooth slice of funk that builds into some excellent electronica that will warm any poor bastard up that can’t afford the heating bills. A glowing ember of a tune. lost causes continues the pace with contribution from ACR’s Donald Johnson on percussion and keeps the head nodding pace throughout. Tune.
batterie electronique has hints of Kraftwerk, Underworld and early Eighties Electro platters that those of us in that era would mug their mates Gran for to get hold of the vinyl. A futuristic sounding electro track with a funky guitar line cutting up the techno beat. friends in high places is excellent. A Bond theme if you’ve ever heard one. Becki has a stunning voice that sets the standards and there’s the bell chiming, the funky guitar riff and the high dramatics that hit the ceiling. It sounds orchestral to your ears with that huge sound coming from this trio of veterans (and Becki). cuttin’ thru red tape still sounds as huge as fuck since I first heard it. That Bonham tinged drum beat matched with Ben’s vocals and a prowling bass line, again lifted with Becki’s vocals which make her the fourth narcissus member by rights. It’d be criminal not to mention the vital backbone of Lee Mulvey and Chris James at this point as the glue is all there and they’ve always been a part of this great sound.
once a thief is another instrumental and a homage to hip hop with Chuck D introducing The Beastie Boys to the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame back in 2012. Another nod to early Electro and Kraftwerk which makes you wanna body pop around the room of your choice! a time and a place shows the intimate side of the group with Ben going all out with the high pitched vocals that tell Thom Yorke to fuck right off. Some beautiful piano that hits the heartstrings and a cracking bit of mellow soul to chill you out. The chorus sounds huge with the arrangements which are pure bliss. flashing blue light is another old tune from their so called archives and it’s just ace. A simple drum sample with an eerie bit of bass that kicks into a funky as fuck Nile Rogers guitar chug that fades in and out with some basic but clever electronica wizardry from the trio. A bit of Bronski Beat going on there from Ben Guy. Don’t twat me when I see you!
riot act is a proper house builder that goes all hi-energy and wouldn’t be out of place in a sweaty club full of ravers who love the rush of the build in an intense e-fuelled party atmosphere. “So if this is your swan song, we can but live in hope that you’ll crawl back down the hole that you came from, we can but live in hope” A sly dig at the Tory scum backed by a tune that raves like fuck to close the album.
narcissus have come up trumps here with a cool as fuck album that has built up and burst from their vessels like an open artery released from a tight tournique with a splash of dayglo blood to get your funky feet moving. While Working Mens Club and Hello Cosmos have been bringing the dirty disco hip hop electro funk to the masses, narcissus have been laying low, knowing they were there first and just waiting for the right moment to strike hard. A great debut from a great group you all need to hear.
42’s Records Website
Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here