Meccano was such a shitty toy, I really didn’t get it, bolting together bits of metal and plastic to make some creaking 1960’s bakery van or a crappy crane. What self-respecting 5 year old would waste his time doing that. I did once, I made a truck and it was one of the major achievements of my formative years, the rest of the time I spent playing in dirt and falling over.
Nonetheless Red Light Company loved the stuff, and have used the metal madness nimbly as a metaphor to inspire a shiny new indie melody, the third single of the London groups first album Fine Fascination. And a nice enough song it is too, full of thrashing guitars and driving rhythm.
Having said that, the first few seconds of the song are dire, soul crushingly awful, an artistic mistake that ranks alongside Neil Diamond (as a human being) and Bob Dylan’s upcoming Christmas album. Well it’s not that bad, the song launches with the ringing of baby lullaby bells, the kind of thing that is sprinkled forth by mobiles dangled over cots countrywide, accompanied by what seems like a robot monkey continuously banging a tin drum. It sounds kind of like the first strains of Dr Spock’s “The Common Sense Book of Baby” if it was launched as an all singing all dancing musical on Broadway. It ruins the song.
But if you put it out of your mind and with mental training and hypnotism it is possible, then you can enjoy the electric whirlwind that follows. It’s got echoes of Editors, Bloc Party and a whole host of other current favourites. It does have the genuine feel of a hit in many regards, it has a “feel-good” melody, the kind of sound that always makes money. The chorus has the necessary sing-along factor and it laments the lurking end of the weekend, a feeling we can all associate with.
But those blessed bells keep lingering in the background and do, purposely or not, give the song a Christmassy edge. Which frankly causes you to reach for your calendar and realise it’s almost the end of August and then it’s September, the start of the slide into winter and cold and darkness and right at the end of all that… bloody Christmas…all over again. Thanks Red Light Company.
Oh and Jo Whiley apparently loves it, the woman now to old for Radio 1, so read into that what you will. Overall there are worse ways to spend three minutes of your life, like trying to build a shitty Meccano truck.