One Eyed Wayne - Attack Of The Luxury Flats - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

One Eyed Wayne - Attack Of The Luxury Flats

by Steve Reynolds Rating:9 Release Date:2016-12-15

There’s no doubt that this year has been a year of world upheaval, celebrity presidents, celebrity crap on telly, belligerent anger and this country in a constant state of unease since the Brexit vote. 

A lot of bands would rather not talk about it, some challenge it head on and add their own spitting vitriol (Sleaford Mods) and you think they might be on their own until you hear anything by Hornsey’s One Eyed Wayne.  Not as sweary as the Mods, whom I’m sure they would consider their current soul mates lyrically but still more than able to slam home the point accordingly as a four piece.

Stephen Donoghue is the main lyrical protagonist here and surrounded by a gang of excellent band of musicians who plump for a sound somewhere between the early foundations of Madness when Mike Barson pulled the strings to shades of Indie pop, skiffle and 60s swashbuckling rock and roll.

Lead track and album title ‘Attack of the Luxury Flats’ is an instantly likeable taster of what’s to come.  Donoghue’s dead pan delivery is brilliant, “tearing down the schools, knocking down little corner shops, butchers and the hospitals”….”if you’d care to put deposit down on this compact bijou place, I guarantee you’ll have fun with your neighbours cause they’re LIVING IN YOUR FACE”…”it's got a lovely little bathroom with a lovely shelf”.  It’s a two pronged approach.  Is he saying that the current flat builds are dressed up to be better than they are? Or that builders will whack more unachievable overpriced flats at the expense of public amenities?  Whichever way you look at it, it works both ways and works well.

‘1234’ pulsates and burrows along with a jaunty singalong chorus “you’ll always be the same, you’ll never change your mind, you’ll always play the game, you’ll never cross the line, you’ll never feel the same, you’ll never see the light”.  It’s not overthought, it’s a piece of music that breaks out a smile or two.

‘Shakey Shakey’ is full of wordsmith cleverness.  Donoghue plugs in and gives us a tale of friendship, girls and revenge and the ultimate line here is “Breaking icicles off broken bicycles just to fall on your face” all set to a kooky compact splay of indie guitar goodness.

‘Tear Up’ is when you’re trying to make everything happy with your girl but it simply ain’t gonna work, “First we’re up then we’re down was it something that I said, got no place to hide really wish I had a shed”.  A tale I’m sure we’ve encountered in this world of relationships ups and downs. ‘A little grey matter’ is about challenging yourself and breaking the cycle of monotony: “Get your coat get your case put a smile on your face and get a new life in Rio De Janeiro, or somewhere tasty”. It sounds very cardiac arrest era Madness and Donoghue does the best Suggs vocal impression flawlessly.

‘Various Artists’ is dark in content and delivery.  A tune about the grim side of the public house, lyrics about violence, bravado and all things nasty: “what about those various artists, they just sparkle like the bubbles in their beer”.  ‘LSD’ as the title leans isn’t anything about drugs at all, in fact it’s about laughing, singing and dancing, the very antithesis to ‘Various Artists’. 

‘After The Break’ is the highlight of the album for yours truly.  A funny attack on crap telly programmes, shit buzz words, adverts and all round numbness that the tube brainwashes us with nowadays: “ Iggy’s on Insurance and Johnny’s on spread” being the funniest line amongst a plethora of similarly good one liners.

One Eyed Wayne have captured a moment and with Steve Donoghue’s quite brilliant take on modern Britain albeit in a sharp and at times terse delivery they have made an excellent debut here.  It won’t make many best of lists for most journos, because these boys aren’t hip, skinny jeans wearing haircut obsessed peacocks.  This is a gritty take on modern Britain with enough black comedy to take down the houses of parliament.



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