February 26th, 2013
Album Title: The Bit Between The Teeth
Catalogue Number: HEIST060
Release Date: 08/04/2013
01. Amores Perros
02. Plessey Road
03. Lucifer’s Cardigan
04. Broadway Circle
05. When Saturday Comes
06. Breakfast At Sylvia’s
07. Chippenham Travelodge
08. Bridge Street
09. The Long Night That Lies Ahead
When asked to try and summarise the history of Skint & Demoralised to date, youʼd be forgiven for scratching your head and wondering where to start. From surfacing on MySpace in late 2006 as the stage name of a teenage punk poet to gracing the Radio 1 playlist less than 3 years later, itʼs safe to say that the band have had a rather eventful journey so far. But through linking arms with Pixie Lott at the Brit Awards to stacking her CDs in HMV six months later, thereʼs one reason why the Yorkshire duo of Matt Abbott and MiNI dOG continue to work together: music.
As a performance poet first and foremost, crafting his trade in front of spellbound audiences at local indie gigs and club nights in homage to his idol John Cooper Clarke, it is Abbottʼs development as a lyricist that has seen Skint & Demoralised really come of age and craft a record that is as accomplished as it is fresh and exciting. Despite having just turned 24, the Wakefield-born frontman has a wealth of experience under his belt, and a keen knack for painting poignancy in the grimmest of settings and framing the particular with universal understanding. It is the vivid and compelling nature of his stories and lyrical vignettes on “The Bit Between The Teeth” that give it such impact and resonance, and with Sheffield-based producer MiNI dOG providing the musical accompaniment, the act once described as a “match made in musical heaven” by Sunday Times Culture editor Dan Cairns have once again documented a strangely upbeat snapshot of recession-struck Britain.
After deciding to take a singing approach on second album “This Sporting Life”, Abbott has reverted back to his spoken word routes for a third of the tracks on “The Bit Between The Teeth”; none more striking than the epic eightminute opener “Amores Perros” that depicts a harrowing and excruciatingly personal tale. Named after one of Abbottʼs favourite films, it kicks the album off with a quote from Leeds United legend Billy Bremner and serves up a healthy portion of sex, alcohol abuse, lust and violence before weʼve even had the comfort of a chorus or a jangly guitar to remind us that this is in fact an indie record.
Musically the songs tap in to that great vein of lo-fi and wonderfully simplistic indie acts such as Orange Juice, The Go- Betweens, The Smiths and Arab Strap; a development of the sound that saw Q Magazine describe S&Dʼs previous release as “defiantly rough and ready” and close in some respects to contemporary records such as Baxter Duryʼs “Happy Soup” or Jamie Tʼs “Panic Prevention”.
The songs are mostly set where they were written on the Northumbrian coast, with many of the focal points referenced in the opening track, and from maudlin ballad “Broadway Circle” (which spends a day in the world of a young woman who loathes life working in the local launderette) to fist-pumping Sky Sports favourite “When Saturday Comes” (which expresses a love for an afternoon at the football whilst managing to avoid being a loutish anthem), itʼs almost as if youʼre speed-dating with nine different Northern bards, and each has their own unique story to tell. Think Arab Strap meets Art Brut, with a pinch of Squeeze and Arctic Monkeys.
The new album “The Bit Between The Teeth” is released digitally via Heist Or Hit Records on Monday 8th April.