Great Cynics – Posi (Specialist Subject Records, 2017)

Great Cynics have been around for some time now, and this being their fourth album, I’m a bit surprised I’ve not listened to them before, despite various people I know mentioning that they were pretty good. Although, I’m no longer young, and I’m still not cool, so er, draw your own conclusions as to the why I’ve not listened to them before, like. Having said all this, I’m not sure I’ve really been missing out on much if Posi is anything to go by.

According to the blurb, “Posi is a record about life in London, trying to keep your head up, while struggling through”. Which prior to listening, I thought I’d relate to, what, with finding London to be a dreadful place that’s chock-full of banefully painful twunts. However, it seems like these guys enjoy London, while I find it excruciatingly claustrophobic and oppressive. But it’s fair enough to have different opinions. I mean if people didn’t, then there’d never be anything to talk about, right?

As I was sort of saying before, people I know have been talking about this lot for a goodly while, now. I’d filed the name away in my mental filing cabinet, where I store (or more often than not, forget) the stuff I think I should get around to checking out. It’s gets fuller rather than emptier, unfortunately, and stuff often falls down the back of the drawers, figuratively speaking, in that way that makes it really tricky to retrieve.

So, here we are, and I’m now in a position to form an opinion about these guys (or at least this particular record). I’ve given it a good ten spins now, and if I’m honest I still feel pretty ambivalent towards it. I think I’ve tried to persevere with it because I felt like I was supposed to like it. It’s a bit er, beige or something? The members of the band seem to play well together, but I didn’t feel like there was much that was particularly memorable about the record. Maybe it’s the singers voice that doesn’t work for me (coincidentally one of the main reasons I don’t particularly like that band Crazy Arm). I dunno. There’s some nice analogies and lyrics being offered up occasionally, but…

…I’m left feeling like there’s something lacking. I can’t help making the mental leap to another band that people absolutely rave about: The Menzingers. However, whereas I find The Menzingers infinitely disappointing, derivative and soul crushingly tedious, with Great Cynics all I can do is shrug. I don’t like pissing on people’s chips unnecessarily, but Posi, for me, is just too unmemorable to even fall into the ‘forgettable’ category. For my money, there are other bands in the UK doing the indie-punk-crossover thing better than these guys, such as Martha, Doe and The Cut-Ups to name a few off the top of my head. Again, this lot look like a really nice bunch of people, so I feel really tight criticising them. So, I hope that Great Cynics can forgive me. They look kind of like forgiving and gentle souls.

Tony of Nurgle verdict: 4/10

I’d suggest you listen to this below and form your own opinion, rather than just taking my word for it. Differing opinions = conversation…

I would also suggest you check out the latest record by Shit Present (who feature at least one member of Great Cynics), which is reviewed here.

You can pick it up direct from Specialist Subject on a variety of coloured vinyl options or CD.

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, currently living in exile in Croydon, South East London. He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also spent a couple of years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night “punk room” at Jilly’s Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up – hopefully in the not too distant future.
Apart from that, it’s all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, rarely skateboarding, often reading books with maps in the front.

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