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Human Don’t Be Angry, Human Don’t Be Angry (Chemikal Underground) ****
PROOF that the Eighties can’t have been all bad.
When Malcolm Middleton, former guitarist with miserabilists-supreme Arab Strap grew bored of his ‘heart on sleeve complaining’ he gave himself a new identity (a translation of a German board game; well, why not?) and with renewed enthusiasm, set to work.
This is the result, a set of partly instrumental tunes inspired in part by the decade of shoulder pads and Jan Hammer.
It is frequently rather lovely, for example the opening The Missing Pleutonium or 1985, with strong melodies and an upbeat feel. Some of the vocals recall Looper.
A bittersweet filmic air makes a welcome return to Monologue: River or Getting Better (At Feeling Like S***), complete with a distinctive Scots brogue.
The booming drums grate, as they always have – but this is the perhaps the only misstep in an unexpectedly joyous record.