You Am I - Convicts

I pressed play and it was like a kick in the balls and then getting grabbed by both ears and then copping a knee to the jaw. Yup, those street fightin' men from You Am I have finally dished up a new platter after too long between drinks. I wasn't at all expecting the opening track ‘Thank God, I've Hit the Bottom' to give me such a clout round the back of the ears like it did. It sounds like someone gave the band a bit of a clout round the back of the ears for that matter.


After the not-quite-there Dress Me Slowly (in my opinion) and the southern fried laid back country boogie of Deliverance, there's a bit of fire back in the belly and some shit-on-the-liver not heard in a little while. Lyrically, it still sounds like things couldn't be more fucked but with the up beat vibe of the music you'd never know. I mean ‘My Own Hand' has to be the most vibrant song about topping yourself ever! In fact the first half of the album keeps it all pretty up beat musically, and makes an excellent case for possible my favourite album to put on while washing the dishes.


The first single 'Ain't it Funny How We Don't Talk Anymore' didn't really grab me by the pants when it first came out but ‘Friends Like You' more than makes up for it. The highlights however are the majestic pop of ‘Secrets' which simmers and builds into the type of grandiose number that the Sleepy Jackson could probably achieve if that Steele plonker didn't have such a god complex but I'll save that rant for another day.


The other corker is ‘Thuggery'. After a bit o' country finger pickin' the boys kick in and let rip. Fuzz notes fuzz, crash cymbals crash and all that good stuff starts pumping out the speakers. You'll probably feel the need to dance like Winona in that scene from the 24 gas station in Reality Bites and change the chorus to 'It's Buggery'. Same goes for the aforementioned ‘My Own Hand' and ‘Constance George'. Just glorious.


Convicts would also have to have the highest quota of killer opening lines. I mean what says it better that "You're beautiful but you're fucked"? The other good thing is that it looks like for the most part Tim got his jones for the country stuff out of his system with the Temperance Union and has concentrated on the punchy numbers and for that I'm truly greatful.


Now I'm sure some of those hard-core old You Am I fans might have been taken aback cause it ain't necessarily your typical YAI rekkid and after first play I was a bit lukewarm myself . But this leads me to the great thing about Convicts, you get a little bit more out of it with each listen. Next thing you know your shouting out all Davey's call & response vocals and dancing' funny round the kitchen. They got soul!!!

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