Cornershop – Judy Sucked a Lemon for Breakfast
Judy Sucked a Lemon is a thoroughly enjoyable LP, all wrapped up in the best sticky, fuzzy Cornershop tradition; with plenty of hooks and choruses to bond over. It might not be hip, or anything new, per se, but it’s bloody good. Most people will know by now that lots of Cornershop’s music draws on rock’s best traditions; (they’ve even split the tracklisting into Side One and Side Two), and good for them. Opener Who Fingered Rock and Roll has a heady early seventies stomp to it, a nod to Mott the Hoople here or even Elton at his most star-struck there. (And listen out for those spacey keyboard keys, right out of some Thighpaulsandra/Julian Cope collaboration). They also make a good fist of one of Manfred Mann’s better moments, e.g. The Mighty Quinn.
Still, if you can write great 60’s /70’s style pop songs, what does it matter? Soul Shock is a gloriously gloopy ode to the two great driving forces of weird popular music, Manchester & Liverpool. Indeed, the sitar and guitar fuzz envelops anything but the great refrain, “Maaaanchester and Liverrrrpooool” Lovely. Free Love is a fabulous track too, digging on the 60’s Yogi vibe for all it’s worth. And take time to listen to the diverse use of keys, synths and traditional instruments, the bass line right out of Ege Bamyasi and the hypnotic Hindi chant. Even some of the less focussed moments, (The Constant Springs) have enough woozy charm to keep you listening.
There’s something darker being alluded to in a couple of tracks (I seem to recall they always had a political edge); Half Brick is very suggestive title for a disco refrain, and the title track’s lazy blues pop is interspersed with machine gun noises. And sound like a groovy, happy crusties with The Roll Off Characteristics.
Now and again they get back into the dancey cut ups they did so well about ten years ago (Shut Southall Down is borderline Conny Plank, whereas Chamchu is a bangra-led mash of piano, basic rock and roll riffs and spooky voices). Lord alone knows what’s going on in The Turned on Truth but it’s sub-Stones vibe is pleasant enough, even for sixteen minutes. Sister Ray’s gentle, hippified cousin? Maybe.
A truly enjoyable LP, well worth checking out.
Worth Richard Foster