It feels like lazy music journalism to listen to stuff and say it sounds like other stuff. Like how critics lose their shit when a new female artist comes along and she’s very, very good. Suddenly she’s the next Kate Bush or Björk or Madonna because music hacks are just unable to deal with new artists unless they’re an updated version of something they already know. It’s simplistic, and does the artist a huge disservice.
That said, the latest track by Manchester’s The Slow Readers Club is kind of like an updated Joy Division song. I mean, I know New Order exists and is currently in charge of making up-to-date Joy Division songs, but seriously – listen to ‘You Opened Up My Heart’ and tell me you don’t hear at least a shade of Ian Curtis.
With its daunting clash of drums and sinister opening riff, you’d be forgiven for thinking ‘You Opened Up My Heart’ was about something quite horrible, like a nasty witch or a big angry dog or something, but a quick listen to the lyrics proves this isn’t the case. I mean, the title is kind of a clue, really. Despite its rocky post-punk edge and spooky refrain, the track is actually about “a basic belief that humanity and compassion will win the day.” That’s according to vocalist Aaron Starkie, anyway, the owner of that compellingly dark Curtis-esque voice that shudders throughout the murky dance-rock of ‘You Opened Up My Heart’.
Currently gearing up to release their fourth studio album, the ambitiously-titled Build A Tower, the Manchester quartet are sure to get pulses racing with their latest doom-laden song. A moody goth-pop single that feels destined to be played through the headphones of angst-ridden romantics for years to come, it will certainly be a floor-filler when the group embarks on an extensive UK tour this spring. In the meantime, their latest single is more than enough to have us yearning for the days when Ian Curtis was centre stage, Manchester was spitting out great indie bands like there was no tomorrow, and ominous gloom-pop felt like it would rule the world.