Orange Head (DGAFF)
“I’m an artist baby!” Black Grape were always the better band than Happy Mondays: a loose and shouty post-pub party crew, with a man called Kermit toasting on top. He and Shaun Ryder (now 61, face like an angry satellite dish) have returned six years after their last album, and if Orange Head is a little too stripped back and over-reliant on loops’n’samples, it still tosses out enough weird hooks and mad flashes to warrant the entry price.
While the likes of Dirt and In The Ground are strangely dour and bitter, there’s a wodge of evidence to show the Black Grape spirit is still coarsing. Button Eyes wobbles on a brassy Cuban swing, and has Ryder possibly shouting “Tweet me!” There is a fabulous song called Pimp Wars, all irresistible brass and Hammond cheese swagger, which rhymes “bad driver” with “muff diver”. And at the end, Sex On The Beach chucks in kung fu noises, surf guitar, barking dogs and weird chipmunk squeals. Like an old bar towel, all life is here. Britain needs this.
words WILL STEEN