“Music from the fat sweaty underbelly of masculinity”
Nippy is an album that has taken me two years to put together. Back in summer 2012 I’d never written a song properly from start to finish, never mind record and release anything (myself, I mean: I’ve been recorded in a band before but all I did was show up and play), which hopefully explains why it’s taken me so long. Throw into the mix two small children and a day-job and I hope you get the picture: spare time…what’s that? :-)
I’ve had to learn as I go. Now I know, for example, that the playback meter going into the red isn’t necessarily a good thing, and much of my recording and mixing attempts are a result of trial and error, so what you’re getting with Nippy is the best that a bloke can do sitting in the hoose with nothing but a MicroBR, Audacity and cack-handed enthusiasm for company.
But enough of the excuses!
The 10 songs that comprise Nippy have been great fun to write and record. They are by turns (attempts to be) humorous, political, creepy, honest, cheeky and downright bizarre. I enjoy messing with genres and love the idea that you don’t know what you’re going to get with each track, so no two songs are alike: I give you rock n roll, RAWK, electronic and just plain pop music, plus a little bit of “what in the nameachrist is that” (I’m looking at you Ye’ve Either Got It Or Ye Huvnae).
The first time I described my songs, way back on soundcloud in 2012, I said it was “music from the fat, sweaty underbelly of masculinity”, and I stick by those words. Men can be odd, ridiculous, sinister beasts and each song in this collection has its roots in my original description. Whether it’s an individual male as an odd, green-eyed stalker or men together as a sinister social or political collective, the songs here hold a mirror up to the attitudes and social habits of men and ask you to have a good look…nice, isn’t it? Suckle on my teat and get a mouthful of acid! :-)
The one exception, instrumental track Mistah Kurtz He Dead, is there to offer some respite from your wallow in the muck, but its title is a reminder of the sickness that dwells somewhere in all of us.
Oh aye, and The Vinegar Tits Save The World! is just a bit of silly nonsense to round it all up.
So give it a whirl! What’s the worst that could happen? I’ve got the next album planned out in my head so, believe it or not, there is more where this came from; and only death or a spirit-crushing tsunami of relentless criticism of Nippy will stop me getting more Tits tunes out there!
Aaaaaanyway, here’s a sentence or two about each song, like I’m Bob Dylan or summink:
This is a jaunty wee pop tune about alienating your support network – your family and friends – after losing your job. I wrote some of the words after David Cameron suggested a ‘Happiness Index’ way back in November 2010, and I finished it off in the autumn of 2012. Events have shown that he leads a callous party that lusts after a callous society. The key to this is destroying the social bonds between individuals. No matter what Cameron and his cronies throw at us, we should treasure these relationships.
The lyrics are callous and unsentimental. Attitudes are sanded down to the bare wood.
Turnin On The Charm
This heavy guitar-led song is about a guy who has a veneer of respectability but leers after women in bars and stalks them for days afterwards. He can turn the charm on and off like a tap. He takes surreptitious photos. He keeps illicitly-obtained locks of hair.
It’s about every bloke you’ve ever met :-)
Love Is Sair
A song in which the painful side of love is compared with an ingrowing hair, falling off a chair, standing in the sun’s full glare when you’ve got red hair, and being eaten by a bear. The starting point lyrics-wise was “Love Hurts”, made famous by Nazareth, and then I flipped it on its nut.
There’s a cheeky wee N.I.B./Cliff Burton homage in the first 20 seconds an all.
Big Auld Erse
If you eat too much of the wrong kind of food, you get a large bottom. This rock ‘n’ roll number is as sophisticated as that. If you want to tart it up, it’s all about Scotland’s obesity problem.
Plea By A Lover To His Sweetheart
This is a song about unrequited love. It’s not yer usual “love song” characters though. The narrator is a lascivious smear of a man and the object of his affection is a woman forced into prostitution by her boyfriend. Contemptible men fall in love too, and this is what it looks like.
I started off with the idea that it would be a kind of maudlin music-hall number and then let things run from there.
Another pop/indie kind of tune, this time about those women that we all love: our mothers! It doesn’t matter how feckless, thoughtless or downright evil ye are, yer maw still loves ye. Right? Aye right! YER MAW!
Yes Please & Thank You
Here’s my big contribution to the Scottish independence referendum debate. It is a song about political hypocrisy at Westminster and politicians’ contempt for the electorate. Sure, all politicians are venal swine but the Westmonster mob are a particularly vile bunch, only interested in making money for themselves and their friends and fuck you, the mugs who vote for them.
It was written before I was aware of the decades-long cover up of a Westminster paedophile ring. Maybe just as well: the song would have been twenty minutes long had I known.
Mistah Kurtz He Dead
I break things up a little with an acoustic instrumental tune that I came up with after looking for something in the same mood as the music in The Needle And The Damage Done by Neil Young. One to listen to with your eyes shut.
Ye’ve Either Got It Or Ye Huvnae
This is one for all the ladies in the house! Or perhaps one special lady waiting back at lothario’s mummy’s house in Ardrossan? I called it Oedipal doowop when I was categorising it on soundcloud and I struggle to call it anything else.
I see this as a companion piece to Turnin On The Charm: weird inadequate men being inadequate and weird.
Is this music? Discuss.
The Vinegar Tits Save The World!
This electronic tune is all about how aliens take over the world, and the world is subsequently saved by an army of robots chanting V-I-N-E-G-A-R T-I-T-S. It’s an instrumental, so you have to imagine the story yourself.
If you can picture Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds in under 4 minutes then you’re half way there.
There you have it. Nippy by The Vinegar Tits: OOT!