Single Review: The Prosaics – The Shipping Forecast, Part 2.

“If misery loves company, petulance deserves a banquet. We’re served both in mouth watering proportions…”

I’m a music junky overdosed. A genre whore un-medicated. I got more loves and guilty/non guilty pleasures than I could list, rank, detail or devour. And this fits so neat in the never made middle of this unending run of interests, distractions and appreciations; a three point five minute slice of pristine, self aware, and unashamedly 80s electro pop.

Guilty… because it treads in size tens on Morrisey’s bloated toes as the king of teenage bedroom diary angst. Not guilty… because its self styled and carefree delivery wears itself with such warmth that it’s tough not to wrap yourself snug. Guilty… because of the Human League aged sounds and synth noises, the thuds and tuned percussive bumps, that conjure early injections of synthetic pop. And lastly, not guilty. Because it’s so damn (un)happy and catchy.

Repeated refrains, they awkwardly lean, they grow and cascade. They move mawkish and meek, almost brittle in simplicity, but still they’re as urgent as gentle. It’s indie as set in Postcard Record casts; Orange Juice flows through and through. I’m in my element joining the dots from Rip It Up to The Postal Service for what I thought would be quick and a breeze to write up. And to the backdrop of all this unthreatening energy, a murky, distinct dissatisfaction.

“Identity in short supply / You’ve got to see the funny side” is as thin lipped and compacted as any opening line could be to invoke a wry sense of wonder. It’s better still later on, when “funny side” is followed by the song’s only breakdown. That brief pause and interlude serves to illustrate either; There’s no funny here and I told you so, or, you need to look harder (and while you do, you can bet I’m not waiting around). And where the opening lines breed intrigue or addiction, “It shouldn’t be the case when / When we opened up our big fat face/ People are able to tell /Ill considered opinions that we’ve held” shows a dexterity in open and unpolished delivery. On the line’s second pass, that now signature am-dram camp angst comes up gleaming… “It shouldn’t be the case / We despair / Of the human race” sums up the self-bruising, all-wounding intent that makes this small thing so endearing.

So if misery loves company, petulance deserves a banquet. We’re served both in mouth watering proportions. Everything’s looking tender, stacked juicy and plump, but its bittered by bad conversation. It’s geekish, ill fitting, a thrill to look in on as we’re never let close to inside. This song is in effect anti-personal. I’ll bring you so close but no further. There’s no hint what’s behind the ill will or bad vibe, we don’t find out the evil, the reason for hurt, or why “Far from me is far enough”. But the taste of disdain is so rich and metallic, the root cause, it don’t matter at all.  

Hard to think looking back at The Prosaics to date, and their short string of acoustic electro tinged ballads, that this is the same band in making. They’re all just as sweet, with charm emanating from soft hurt and play, but if this is their veer to the left ….keep going and keep me informed. And make sure to keep miserable – Please!   The Prosaics’ new single The Shipping Forecast, Part 2 is available to stream, play and download. Go find them on Facebook  and Spotify.

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