A long line of Scottish miserablists finds itself continuing in full health with Butcher Boy's John Blain Hunt as a natural successor to Edwyn Collins. Much has been made of this seven-piece's potential as a thrashing, poetic and ebulliently winsome voice in the jangling dark, and with My Latest Novel jetting off to the States there's a multi-instrumental hole in the tapestry of Scottish pop.
And those who frequently make so much of these things are right to do so here. 'Girls Make Me Sick' is a triumphantly bitter and sad slice of whimsy, custom-built for the fey kids down the disco in 1996 and just danceable enough to make it appropriate in this decade. The boogie-orgasm basslines are sweetly buoyed by explosive strings and gentle melodica, all given ballast by Hunt's impeccable lyrics. He sings of wasted affection and the misery of reminiscence, but it's all delivered with such ballistic wit and glam-Ian Curtis swagger that you'd be forgiven for thinking that this man is in love.
He is not, and it is to our advantage.
9Daniel Ross's Score