Album Review: Fvuk The Headache by Fashion Brigade (2019) (Gentle Reminder)

FashionBrigadeWPMany other blogs will concentrate on the numerous guests that appear on the album. Which is fine…especially of it shift a few units for the alarmingly consistent Gentle Reminder lable. However it could also detract from utilizing the available ‘article space’ on what singer-songwriter-producer Elia Einhorn has actually achieved on this collaborative project.

Effectively, give or take the mere matter of 58 songs, this is the modern day equivalent of The Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs, albeit sonically weirder, mostly less fragile and always more fuzz-pop and C86.

Initially it shares genes with the Stephin Merritt masterpiece by juxtaposing childish analogies of love and it’s superficial ‘in the moment’ intensities. As seen above, the beautifully jangly indie-pop of  First Sunny Day of the Year  should engender memories of furtive fumblings (also explored in more graphic detail in Kissyface) which meant so much at the time but ultimately amounted to little:

copping off by the industrial estate
hidden by hedges from the motorway

and …

take off that scratchy wool pullover
i’ll take off these lemon yellow jeans
‘cause it’s right now and we’re right here
and it’s the first sunny day of the year

Such all consuming child-like desire is also seen in also seen in Kathleen as the suitor appears oblivious to all other matters, such is the yearning for intimacy with their latest beau. This is a topic further developed in Cyndia Lauper as forlorn, poignant, “need” is presented in the most uncomfortably pathetic and pleading manner.

do you think you’ll be single for pride fest this year?
looking for a lover ‘midst the beads and the beer?
well if you are darling, i’ll be standing right here
whistling this song, i’ll wait all day long, hell, I’ll wait all year

Of course, just like 69 Love Songs the artist is not content to let us listen to a few tracks and confide to ourselves how ‘cute’ life was back in ‘our young love years’  without even contemplating loves alter ego…the nightmare of lost love, unrequited love and the darkest of emotions and actions it can engender.

Fvck The Heartache does not merely suggest such contemplation. It picks up the great big ‘love is shit really stick’ and then bends you over to adminsiter a dozen of the best, complete with a 6 foot run up behind each stroke. It is the the complete antithesis to the innocence that has gone before, which only adds to the sense of startle.

As such we see the interplay of hate and begrudging longing in I Hate You that only a world weary adult who has been through a few too many of the above ‘cute life’ experiences can truly feel:

i got myself off three times today remembering the way you kissed me
i stopped short of a fourth remembering the way you hissed at me
“i never want to see you again as lover or friend i hate you

Similarly, You Made Me Dream Again, hints at the slightest difference between adoration and complete hatred that are involved in all of the most realistic love stories. The singer opines:

you made me dream again
for fifteen seconds ’till i remembered
what a terrible human being you are

Naturally, all the best albums dealing with the treatment of love have to depict the fluffier, happier parts of the emotion. For that as well is reality. For many of us love, beyond the despair of flailing about inside and outside of a failing/failed relationship, also provides us with some of our most cherished moments, in much the same way as alcohol provides us with some of our most treasured fun memories.

As such the album gives us definitive moments of ‘love hope’ and/or the reasons why we bother with it, or at least concede to it, at all, as we see genuine love eclipsing the need for attraction in the beautiful Mine all Mine (see above):

there will always be skinny girls in short shorts 
they will never be a day over twenty one 
well forget them, you will age and gray 
and grow more beautiful every day 

and a lifetime of devotion hinted at in the final verse of the track:

there will always be skinny girls in short shorts 
they will never be a day over twenty one 
well forget them, you will age and gray 
and grow more beautiful every day 

The final track also gives us a similar sense of hope that love could be our final destination as the suggestion that some people ‘just fit’ is wrapped up in a single verse, 28 second, vignette. It is short, but it clears any lingering gloom with it’s Mouldy Peaches style simplicity.

Of course their will be plenty of people out their in blog world that will be able to point me in the direction of a better album released this year. Whether I will bother listening to them though is a different matter…pure brilliance.

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