Skint & Demoralised - 'This Sporting Life' (UK Release: 12 March '12) // Words: Emily Solan
The story of Skint & Demoralised is quite harrowing. Signed to a major label, an incessantly catchy single that is promoted to hell (including a spot on Britain’s foremost new music output 'Loose Women'), disappointing sales and a debut album leak all added up to create a catastrophic calamity, and a somewhat distressing attempt at a solo career. Thankfully Matt Abbott is back with a second album full of inoffensive sing along ditties that suit the current spate of warm weather perfectly.
The music isn’t the most important thing to pick up on here - there is an interplay with the lyrics that befits the fact that Matt began as a spoken word artist. The themes of love, loss and the myriad of difficulties that we face are nothing new, and indeed neither is this. There are certainly parallels with Alex Turner’s delivery on the first Arctic Monkeys LP, and on another level you can definitely feel the influence of John Cooper Clarke lingering.
And when put together, it’s all rather nice. Sonically, it’s nothing new, but as they say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’s thankfully not as aggressively lad rock as some bands, but it still has something to say. Stand out tracks are definitely include the romantic lilt of 'Fireworks', including endearing lyrics like “The only way to love myself is spending time with you”, and the single 'The Lonely Hearts Of England', an ode to the great English (British) tradition of a night on the booze.
With succinct observational lyrics like “Just get another round in, we’re wasting precious time/No celibates, we’re celebrating living in our prime” and “Have you spotted someone sexy, are you trying to catch their eye?/It’s a bloody expensive taxi if you stand around all shy/With a little introduction and a little bit of charm/You’ve a belly filled with butterflies and someone on your arm”, its hard to disagree that there’s not a talent there.
All in all, it’s a pretty nice treat. An album full of witty lyrics set to a jaunty tune, and while its nothing to shout home about, it does have a certain something about it. There are times and tracks that seem perfect for festival season like the aforementioned 'The Lonely Hearts Of England', but it’s the gentler moments that really set this album apart from the rest.
'This Sporting Life' is available to purchase at amazon.co.uk. Find more info at skintanddemoralised.co.uk.