Album Review: McCarthy – I am a Wallet (reissue)

Trust me, there was a time before you’re average indie band shied away from politics, because it might affect their ‘careers’. Today it seems that more bands are worried about saying the wrong thing, than maybe saying the right thing. It seems rather just, that at a time where Jeremy Corbyn, the almost antithesis of career politician, is leading the Labour party, so essex indie poppers McCarthy – a band never afriad to nail its political ideals to the mast, have reissued their debut album, I am a Wallet.

Its an album of contrasts – the ascerbic, angry, politically charged stories contained within contrasts with the music, untroubled by musical ambition beyond wanting to write perfect pop songs and wrap them up in jangling Rickenbacker’s and an innocence that makes them almost impossible to resist.

There’s a whiff of their contemporaries there, within the album – the C86 movement looms large, and songs such as The International Narcotics Traffic owes at least a passing reference to both The Byrds and The Smiths. But, right from the off there is so much to enjoy – Opener An MP Speaks reveals them to be erudite songwriters with an ear for melody, but its the political (and religious in the case of God Made the Virus) sentiment that runs through the record – none of it being hidden in the background as evidenced by just the titles – The Wicked Palace Revolution, A Child Soon in Chains, The Procession of Popular Capitalism, and the like.

Although its not the first time the record has been re-released, it is adorned with radio sessions and extras, as well as other goodies. At the heart of it though, is the chance to give one of the great lost albums of its time, by one of the great under-appreciated bands of its time.

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