'Alas Agnes' is a very different monster to Mystery Jets' previous single - there are no New Order synths, no buoyant piano, no real sense of order - but it remains just as infectious, just as exciting.
There's a deep breath, a bracing vocal swell that rends the air and then an urgent, hurtling snare drum. It bolts out of speakers leading a galloping oddball procession of discordant noodling and defiant harmonies. "Alas / Oh, Agnes / I still adore you" rings out solidly with male solidarity before it's back to the careering bombast. It's the sound of British Sea Power had they embraced joyous pop instead of underwhelming blandness, and it's very wonderful indeed.
Talking of blandness, sadly there are also two b-sides. 'Electric Fire' is a frail, out-of-focus ballad and the disparate elements of 'The Last Bench' (a sampled interview, a swaggering bass-led shuffle, distant strings and mindless chanting) fail to pull together to form anything as coherent and enjoyable as the main attraction.
7Jesus Chigley's Score