Top 10 Indelicates Songs of All Time

IndelicatesThe Indelicates are one of the most interesting bands to come out of the UK in the past 20 years and also one of the most unfairly overlooked. If you went by the NME, you'd think they were briefly around in 2006 and haven't been seen since. And yet in the past 12 years, they've released 6 albums, toured up and down the country and have been the very opposite of a defunct band.

They've also picked up acclaim from Neil Gaiman and Eddie Argos and released a single for Oculus Rift.

The band are made up of Simon and Julia Indelicate, plus a rotating line up of other musicians that would put Mark E Smith to shame. They specialise in unashamedly intelligent and cutting lyrical barbs, with a wide variety of musical styles to back it up.

It's about time the world sat up and took notice of The Indelicates and hopefully this ranking of their 10 best songs will go a small way to redressing the balance.

Read on to find out our Top 10 The Indelicates songs of all time:

"Top of the Pops"

It starts with a Glitter band style musical stomp and gets better from there. Taken from last year's Juniverbrecher, a concept album based around the banishment of Mr Punch, Jimmy Saville and the spirit of Brexit (probably the same person) it's brooding, vaguely sinister and proof that The Indelicates aren't afraid to rock out when the song requires it. It's a song that looks the past firmly in the eye and recognises quite how ugly much of it was. The Indelicates have never held stock with nostalgia and this is why.

"The Generation That Nobody Remembered"

The aforementioned Oculus Rift single and it found itself a bit overshadowed by that impressive novelty. But revisiting the song shows it more than stands up on its own merits. The production alone is worth attention, symphonic and ambitious. But as always, it's the lyrics that make the songs. A critical but sympathetic look at the Internet generation, it's analytical without falling into the lazy stereotyping of millennials seemingly in vogue with the mainstream press currently. The Indelicates are one of the few bands doing this kind of musical social commentary and their sharp lyricism serves them well here. "The Generation That Nobody Remembered" was featured on 2015's Elevator Music, in the band's own words "a concept album about the singularity, virtual realities and the generation stuck between space ages."

"Everything Is Just Disgusting"

Musically, The Indelicates can jump around a lot from album to album. Each album tends towards being a self-contained piece of work, unaffected by that which came before or after it. They are snapshots of where The Indelicates are at that moment and nowhere is that clearer than on 2013's Diseases of England. The Indelicates have always had an antagonistic relationship with little Britain and the album looks at some of the worst parts. "Everything is Just Disgusting" is jaded and cynical. It's angry, but the anger is defeatist and probably pointless. The organ underpinning the song just hammers that home more. It's a song for ex-romantics, but ex-romantics that recognise they lost the battle years ago.

"Something's Goin' Down In Waco"

You can explain why The Indelicates are genuinely unique in the music scene, with one simple fact. They did an entire concept album about David Koresh and the Waco siege. David Koresh Superstar, released in 2011, is the Indelicates at their most theatrical. It's the soundtrack to a musical that, as yet, has never hit the stage. It's very odd and very good. "Something Goin' Down in Waco" is perhaps one of the album's highlights. A collection of voices and 'eyewitnesses' from the ATF to David Koresh, it showcases every single possible opinion without judgement. A better way of representing the confusion still surrounding those events is impossible to imagine.

"Beyond the Radio Horizon (115 Years)"

As I mentioned before, it's normally the lyrical wit that you notice about The Indelicates. But not on this track from Elevator Music. It's not that they're bad; it's an interesting tale about "The Network" achieving consciousness and moving away from all the pettiness and pointlessness of humanity. But the music here is nothing short of spectacular. It starts off slow and pleasant, but as the chorus comes in it just soars. In a just world "Beyond the Radio Horizon (115 Years)" would have had heavy rotation on mainstream radio. In our world, it will just have to settle for being a truly glorious listening experience for the handful willing to listen.

"Flesh"

Nobody quite knew what to expect from The Indelicates second album. Songs for Swinging' Lovers still brought a fresh surprise in 2010. "Flesh" explains why. It starts with Julia singing "Hey girls, let’s see if we can bring out the rapists in the new men" and carries on from there. This is The Indelicates at their least comfortable listening, dissecting ideas and falsehoods with a ruthless and practised eye. "Flesh" is not there to be your friend or to reassure you. It's there to make you think and worry and self-examine. It's a song only a band completely dedicated to making its own way in life would even consider recording.

"Everything English is the Enemy"

Another instant classic from Juniverbrecher. The Indelicates have taken on English patriotism before, but never quite this bitingly. From the monarchy to John Peel, nothing English escapes the Indelicates' unforgiving gaze. If Pulp's This is Hardcore was Cool Britannia's come down, "Everything English is the Enemy" is its unrelentingly hostile obituary. This is pop music of the most bitter and vicious kind and all the better for it.

"We Hate the Kids"

From their debut American Demo in 2008, although it had been released as a single two years before that. This is perhaps the best sign of what was to come from the album. The lyrics are clever, even funny, but they're also beautifully abrasive. A cynical look back at pop music and a farewell to it, it tells tales of how "boys who should know better grin and get high/With fat men who once met the MC5". This was perhaps the first song that made me realise that the Indelicates were a band to watch. They had something to say and they weren't scared to do so.

"Your Money"

On the other hand, this one from Songs for Singing Lovers is essentially a character assassination set to music. Over piano, we're told about an utterly unredeemable "actor playing a genius". It's a song of unhidden contempt and spite and it spits its hatred admirably. This would be enough. But what makes the song for me is the self-criticism. It takes the song to another level. It's not just about the vileness of the song's target, but the crucial importance of never ever giving in and taking the easy option of allying with people like that.

"Dovahkiin"

This Diseases of England song is just beautiful. Taking a background of Skyrim and how someone uses it to escape from his depression, the song is perhaps affecting in a way few other songs manage. There's a definite warmth to it, breaking through any cynicism. It ends hopefully, with the subject of the song being promised that there is someone out there for him. The Indelicates have shown repeatedly that they can do bitter, but this song shows that they can do cautious optimism just as skilfully.

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One Response to “Top 10 Indelicates Songs of All Time”

  1. Andrew 02/10/2018 at 11:14 pm #

    Thanks for this useful guide! My friend Heather is a recent addition to the Fall-rivalling revolving door of fine musicians joining Simon and Julia

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