Just like Divine or Lisa Stansfield, this music is not looking to beg or win any prizes, and that’s important in this Salem-like age of timidity.
Dorian Cox has a new band. This shouldn’t come as news, because despite his well-documented ups and downs, he’s been busy working at his Muse by way of two previous incarnations - Spilt Milk and Former Lover - before this, his third revelation, Unmade Bed.
There are a number of recognisable threads that run through all Cox’s post Blondes work: most notably his covert role-playing as the Northern, kitchen sink romantic. If you add in the truculent and misty idealism that’s so often surfaced in music from other Sheffield bands, (including the Blondes’, albeit there was always more “gang show” manner with them), you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that there was already enough to hope that something would eventually surface from all the intelligent if gauche demos we’ve heard up to now.
The themes that were lightly – if charmingly - sketched out with Spilt Milk and Former Lover, are given a much bolder treatment with Unmade Bed. The new vehicle allows another of his obsessions to get an airing too; that of glitz and cheap glamour, and sharpness of tongue in the saloon bar. It seems that this time he’s been able to successfully mould his material into shape by simply taking a back seat and allowing the brassiness of singer Jeannie to formulate and flesh out the vision.
The latest tracks revolve round that club beat that threatened to take The Long Blondes away from the second hand clothes shop and into the disco. There’s something of St Etienne in this latest venture too - especially those very early singles such as Only Love Can Break Your Heart or Nothing Can Stop Us: with tracks like Go The Whole Way and You Never Really Broke My Heart, this is music that’s got a refreshing amount of coldness. Just like Divine or Lisa Stansfield, this music is not looking to beg or win any prizes, and that’s important in this Salem-like age of timidity.
Incendiary make no secret of their affinity with Mr. Cox. We’re pally with Dorian, and always wish him well, but with this we think he’s onto something good, something that doesn’t need our best wishes at any rate.