Where 'Irish Blood, English Heart' was merely a warning of a return to omnipotence, or a calling card of a bequiffed return, 'First Of The Gang to Die’ is the proof in ’45 terms that Morrissey is back with enough form to do at least a ten-year stretch.
Whilst not particularly classic Moz geographically (LA gang warfare), it certainly retains his favourite muses of doomed romanticism and a vicarious glee at the fallible pseudo-tough guy image. Most importantly of all, however, is that it is a tune. A proper great pop song, and we haven’t heard one of those from this man for around a decade.
And anyway, who can argue with a song that leaves the line “You have never been in love / Until you've seen the sunlight thrown / Over smashed human bone” hanging in the air like a sigh? Not us.
8Gareth Dobson's Score