This excellent third full-length LP from Cambridge four-piece The Scissors pushes their sound into new territory musically and features words and ideas that chime with modern day concerns…
1. Plug Me In Kicking off with a chord from the soundtrack of a western, the sinister guitar of the verses is balanced by the organ-drenched chorus and it all ends very abruptly.
2. Parking Cars More of a rocker, driven by a pulsing bass riff. Not sure how the title line fits in but it is certainly catchy ‘…parking cars…you got to do it right…’
3. Death Engineer A moody song about built-in obsolescence, suggesting that it is the responsibility of the title character. Around this lyrical resignation a Doors-sounding electric piano and rolling cymbals ominously threaten.
4. Look Good In Cheap Clothes A surreal monologue, spoken by frontman Stewart Harris as the band play freely with the structures and sonic textures. This is a companion to the disturbing artwork of the album front cover (which itself brings to mind the notorious Beatles ‘Yesterday And Today’ sleeve?)
5. I Dream In X-Ray Vision In case you thought the Scissors of old had disappeared this impressive track is a pounding reminder of their trademark sound, with unrelenting unified riff, dissonant guitar and even the theremin gets a look-in. The lyric of course has enough ambiguity and imagery to satisfy the diehard fan.
6. Edgelands Picking up the ‘edge of the world’ theme from the end of the previous song, this loose psychedelic americana is echoing and atmospheric, driven by a roving guitar and accordion.
7. When Is A Boy Not A Boy? A cinematic, sweeping track; a guitar solos plaintively over exciting drumming weaving in with a strong vocal performance.
8. Ufotopia This mid-tempo song is the longest on the album and features a subtly uplifting band sound with the questioning and resigned reflections from the narrator. A guest saxophone solo steals the show at the end.
9. Glossy Magazines (EP ‘b’-side) This noisy staple of their live set is given a more introspective feel here, piling on the paranoia as the music moves in all sorts of unpredictable directions.
10. Electric Line Terminus (EP ‘b’-side) Another previous release and storming live track, this again has a Doors feel, a sort of doom-laden cataclysm of blues-based garage rock.