McCarthy – I Am A Wallet (expanded)

These days it doesn’t seem like folks talk about McCarthy as much as they should. If they do, it’s often noted than the band served as the spark that would go on to ignite Stereolab, with Laetitia Sadier joining the group in their later days. However, they’re much more than the forge that formed Gane and Sadier’s musical bond. Lodged right in the thick of UK jangle pop, the band held a bit more of bite than most of their contemporaries, finding less solace in pining, or the soft corners of love than in penning takedowns of the increasingly conservative British politics of their time. Though they do so slyly, never letting invective turn their hand, but singing about economic collapse and hopeless times between soft strums and a light brush of drums. It’s an anti-capitalist trojan horse than still rings true today.

The band’s overt left ideology left a lot of programmers cold at the time of it’s release, finding them largely ignored at the time. They didn’t fit in with the Sarah crowd, either, matching many of their stable’s jangle, but a bit too brittle for their core. Fitting into the odd niche that their position on The Pink Label provided, with a move to September for the full length, they’d act as a softer, but no less biting counterpoint to The Wolfhounds. At the time the band was championed by John Peel (no surprise there) and in time the album has begun to get its due praise in hindsight. This reissue gives the most complete picture of the rise to the album, with a second disc that contains their first four singles and the re-recorded version of “In Purgatory,” from the PINK compilation E.P. They tack on a bonus 7″ A reproduction of the “In Purgatory” 7” and a 20 page book, photo and promo poster repros from the time. The price point is steep at over $50, but Optic Nerve aim to make this both reissue and retrospective of the album.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE (US) or HERE (UK).

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