Manchester-formed Money were quickly characterized by their varying sonic landscape which permeated the critically acclaimed debut The Shadow of Heaven. Fast forward a little over two years and the departure of bassist Scott Beaman, their core sound appears relatively unchanged. The record is a colourful exploration encompassing many perplexing topics which juxtaposes the bleak title and monochrome artwork in every sense.
In the title track ‘Suicide Song’, Jamie Lee, who’s never been one to shy from difficult topics, ponders the idea of depression and offers the track as a solution to the difficulty of talking about suicidal thoughts: “I know some of us need to turn our minds into one, but that just aint much fun, this is your suicide song.” Frontman Lee’s vocals compete with Charlie Cocksedge’s scintillating guitar and Billy Byron’s drums on eight-minute-long ‘Night Came’ contrasting with Lee softly serenading in the melancholic closing song ‘A Cocaine Christmas and An Alcoholic’s New Year’.
Lee has in the past suggested that pop music is a descendant of hymns and religious imagery has been an intrinsic part of the fabric of Money right from their very beginnings; one of their earliest concerts was in a Salford church. In the past he seemed to oppose God in songs such as ‘The Cruelty of Godness’ but the opener ‘I am the Lord’ illustrates how this relationship has changed. Lee has become God, or at least no longer seems to resent God, as he crows “I am up there in the clouds.”
The endemic situation of a band failing with their second album and it paling into the shadows of an acclaimed debut is successfully negotiated. The many early comparisons which were drawn with fellow, albeit ill fated, Manchester band Wu Lyf are becoming less relevant as Money forge their own niche which I can only pigeon-hole as somewhere between a slower Joy Division and American singer-songwriter Torres.