SINGLE OF THE WEEK
Slight Return/Don't Stand Me Down
ANOTHER YELLOW jersey for the ever-improving Bluetones, whose knack of
articulating a mood of hand-wringing melancholia reaches new peaks on
'Slight Return' with the quantum-ly anti-climax line "I'm coming home/But
yust for a short while!", all filtered through Mark Morriss' peculiarly
tuneful whine of a vocal. Must be something to do with living in Hounslow
and seeing all those planes drifting overhead every day and wondering
quite where everybody's headed.
None of the quitarama overload witnessed on the recent NME Miller Genuine
Draft Bratbus tour de force is in evidence, however (yet another
feather-lite production) until, that is, you get to the ultra-brill B-side
'Don't Stand Me Down', which ensures them Single Of The Week status simply
because it combines everything The Bluetones are best at - late-night
recriminations and the never-ending quest for revenge - set against their
best tune to date.
Here, for the first time, The Bluetones dare to merge such darkly contrasting
emotions against a gorgeous rolling blues. "I know all about magic
baby/You see I taught myself!" taunts Mark, like Merlin dressed by
Marks & Spencer, before confessing "You know the things they're saying
made me what I am/So say it again, say it again!", as if the more
it hurts, the more he'll be back for more. If you want comparisons, think
of 'Don't Stand Me Down' as their 'Elephant Stone', a shuffle off into
the unknown, but it's the clearest sign to date that the more Mark Morriss
exorcises the inner demons the nearer his group are gonna get to greatness.
Between the devil and the deep Bluetonic sea...
Extracted from nme, 13th January 1996