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Attack Of The Grey Lantern

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Back in the high days of Britpop, Mansun released an album that sat askew from the pervading happy-go-lucky spirit of the times. Panopticon is definitely their best album in my opinion, but the rest of their discography is worth a listen (in particular the almost equally fantastic Oceanic album).

According to Mansun's Kleptomania liner notes, frontman Paul Draper states that "Take It Easy, Chicken" was their first song and the band really did not know how to play their instruments, let alone play as a band, when DJs Steve Lamacq and John Peel started to play the song on BBC Radio 1.A bizarre pseudo rap about a transvestite vicar who cross dresses like his daughter, it seemed a good idea at the time and slightly subversive but seems a little tame by today’s standards where such things are pretty run of the mill.

Written in the form of a letter from the transvestite vicar to his daughter, it sort of deepens the plot of the album’s narrative a bit before it’s all resolved on the final track, Dark Mavis. Having been a huge dance music fan it was really satisfying having a big club hit remix from the album too. The amount of times I’ve sat in pubs trying to explain to people what ‘Stripper Vicar’ is all about is mind boggling, and in the mists of time, I’m not sure I can even remember myself.Again, ploughing the religious imagery on this track, this song wasn’t immediately a huge hit but seems to be remembered along with ‘Taxloss’ as the most well-known on the album.

Created in May 2008 to provide a home for the growing post-progressive genre and an evolving, flexible and adventurous style of music without boundaries. The amount of times I’ve sat in pubs trying to explain to people what it’s all about is mind boggling, and in the mists of time, I’m not sure I can even remember myself. Throughout the album, the hero encounters a number of immoral inhabitants in a fictional English village. The title was elongated as it seemed to earnest and this whole track was the most long winded and complicated to finish on the album.The Long Island metal band's third album etches arena-sized hooks into their jagged compositions, deftly balancing experimental and poppy inclinations. Due to fan-driven popular demand, Paul then played an ambitious second solo tour in early 2018, performing Spooky Action as well as Attack of the Grey Lantern. Listening back to the lyrics I’m reeling off characters from the fictitious small northern town where the album is set, ‘Skinima Nosebreak’ ‘Fatima Toothpaste’ ‘Penelope Cheapskate’ ‘Claudia Farmgate’, not your average lyric for the era really and still makes me chuckle to this day that something so absurd hit No. With former Mansun frontman Paul Draper now enjoying a solo career after a number of years in the wilderness, his old band’s debut has been re-released in a special 21-year anniversary edition. The next day I came back and Ronnie Stone, our engineer / producer said to me the verse vocal was weak so I re-recorded it and that was the only change from the track that was completed in a day.

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