Vini Reilly is more likely to put a finger on his own pulse than that of the nation, though considering the current economic climate this album’s title is apt. There is, however, nothing austere about Reilly’s music that, over the last 30 years, has laid the foundations of a career skyscraper exploring every room from dance, sampling, and Morrissey-foil.
Underpinning everything is a skitterish neo-classical melodic guitar which whispers in the background of the opening track Memory Of Anthony. where Reilly pays heartfelt tribute to late friend and Factory Founder Tony Wilson. More Rainbows is an instrumental conversation between Reilly’s pliant guitar and girlfriend Poppy Morgans’ dreamy electric piano, while I’m Alive and My Poppy – “your perfect beauty” – are both slightly psychedelic and gloriously fuzzy around the edges, like Felt. For Bruce is dedicated to Reilly’s longsuffering drumming foil Bruce Mitchell and, with its Japanese Gamelan feel, is no doubt intended to give the Manchester legend some Zen-like calm. Elsewhere, Lock Down recalls the glory of Reilly’s collaboration with Blaine Reininger on that ancient Durutti rowing boat Without Mercy. As always, the singing is gloriously fragile, making some lyrics beautifully elusive, with meanings as hard to grasp as a well-oiled trout.