Ok, this is going to be difficult. Name me a band that can write catchy, radio friendly, under-three-minutes straight punk rock songs with intelligent and meaningful lyrics that at the same time is as DIY as they come, self-releasing, self-publishing, self-everything, unsigned and is on a national radio every time they have a new single out. Ha! I knew I got you there. You may think that such an outfit do not exist, but you are plain wrong. They are called Gaylips and they just released their newest anthem entitled “Managing Director”.
They also have a Big Mouth Rainbow Trout and they will use it, provoked or not. You have been warned.
Official bio: The exact time when Gaylips was born has been forgotten. It may have been somewhere around the time when Carl and Jonny’s previous band imploded in its own Nu-Rave-neon-face-paint-please-like-us-NME bullshit which finally choked to death in the reduced section of Bedford Topman. But Carl and Jonny clambered out of the bargain bin, escaped the bad haircuts, and saw the glorious epiphany-esque light that is a two-piece band with no keyboard player.
Gaylips’s first album, “Fuck the Plan, Sell the Man” was championed by Steve Lamacq – which made them cool for approximately 3.27 minutes. (It felt good). Gaylips also won “Album of the Year” from Transmission Radio. Then the cluster fuck grenade that was Covid rolled into town. Gaylips snuck into a recording studio (no takeaway/no beer – ok maybe a can) and knocked out four singles. These included D.E.B which gained some great streaming results (approx. 0.07p revenue) and was chosen for the Home Brew Compilation album by Homebrew Records. The last two singles, “The Future Will Be Built from Spare Parts” and “The Ballad of Hinksley Road” enjoyed BBC 6 Music airplay and are still going great guns around the world. And Luton.
Steve Lamacq once famously said that the best bands look on their pictures like they accidently met at the bus stop and this is the best description I can think of regarding Gaylips. They genuinely could be sitting next to you waiting for the bus home that is perpetually late and you’d never have a clue they are in this great rock and roll group.
There is something about this duo that reminds me of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty (aka the Justified Ancients of MuMu or The KLF). Maybe it’s their sardonic sense of humor, their do-it-yourself attitude to marketing, videos and making music. Their crazy ideas that somehow work, without any budget or connections. Maybe it’s their anti-art aesthetic that make you smile even if they are discussing serious social ills such as inequality, abuse of power or capitalistic attitude towards hard working people.
“Managing Director” stands at 2 minutes and 45 seconds and is a sharp, witty observation of our society that is plagued by greed, consumerism and not giving a hoot about another human being lost in the soulless system. It starts with a scratchy shout of “Pedestrians of the world unite/Spend all your money in Waitrose and die” and it quickly turns into a roller coaster ride of high energy, angry punk rock. This track is too short for any fancy solos, sugar-coated riffs or posh passages showing off musical skills of the duo. What you get instead is a pounding rhythm, dirty, true rock with a kick to your backside and a punch to the teeth. You don’t like it? Go and listen to skinny white girls in their over produced, nausea inducing odes to Ikea furniture.
What’s on offer here is not pretty, it’s not nice but it is honest and sincere. The reality we live in is exactly that – people are manipulated into buying shit they don’t need, don’t even like but feel they have no choice but to get it. And even if they get something, it will not turn them into better people. They will still be greedy, manipulated and blinded fools that can be used repeatedly by the titular managing directors. Those at the top are the only ones who gain something out of this zombie, libertarian economical set up.
Put on your red coat and don’t let the bastards see you bleed – there is a call up to arms if anybody wants to start a little nice revolution. It doesn’t have to be bloody, it can be peaceful, but any revolution is better than being stuck in a supermarket being turned into a mindless, lifeless puppet.
The video to the song is brilliant. It features a large rainbow trout singing the lines straight at you, being impaled to a wooden plaque. It’s brilliant in an absurd way. I absolutely bloody love it.
Keep your eyes and ears open for anything this band produces. They are brilliant, brave and don’t give a damn what anybody thinks. And what I think is, Benefits should take them on tour. That would be a gig, even someone clinically vulnerable like me would attend. I promise if that happens, I’m there moshing in the first row.