The Wind-Up Birds - The Mild Awards - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

The Wind-Up Birds - The Mild Awards

by Andy Brown Rating:8 Release Date:2012-11-12

The Wind-Up Birds released their rather wonderful debut album, The Land, back in May and have been pretty busy ever since. The new Sturdy Records compilation, By Hook or By Crook, features their enigmatic frontman, Kroyd, on two tracks and the band have already recorded a bunch of new songs in the studio with the aid of friends from both Post War Glamour Girls and Moody Gowns.

Inbetween all this, Kroyd found time to sneak out a noise/spoken-word, lo-fi side project in the form of the Forgets album, And My Equal Vegetates for Her Boy, which is as strange as it sounds. 'The Mild Awards' is a completely different prospect, however; a bold, intelligent and joyous pop single.

The band have said that the single was actually recorded a while back but only felt single-worthy once they'd added some brass and string arrangements to the mix at the Tamla Moortown studios. The Wind-Up Birds are definitely a band that knows the value of a good single.

A really engaging and intelligent lyricist is hard to come, but Kroyd's dark, witty and frankly pissed-off dialogue sets the band apart. 'The Mild Awards' finds Kroyd examining the world of competitive careerists, glitzy Heat magazine awards ceremonies and the general race towards mediocrity. It's a whole lot more fun than that makes it sound, though. Kroyd puts us at the centre of an awards ceremony where there are "Ball gowns and gold envelopes/ Heart attacks and shattered hopes/ Canapés and drunken gropes". It's how Jarvis Cocker must have felt around the time of This is Hardcore.

The chorus, like all great pop singles, is an absolute belter: "Now I start to sweat when the drinks are poured/ At the mild awards/ I reel off the times that I was ignored/ At the mild awards/ I plan the route for my victory tour/ At the mild awards/ Now it's time to praise the Lord/ For the mild awards". If Stewart Lee wrote lyrics, I imagine they'd come out a little like this (obviously with an emphasis on repetition).

No single is complete without a b-side and 'Some Gimmicks for You' finds the band replacing the brass arrangements for a manic keyboard motif. The song sounds a little like the eccentrically awesome Future of the Left. The Wind-Up Birds are by far one of the best bands operating in the country and if you haven't already heard them, then 'The Mild Awards' may be the perfect place to start.

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