Album OT Week

pure misery


pure misery

via So Young Records

release on November 25, 2022

‘Pure Misery’ has lots in it to love - even more so when Humour go all out and stand firm in their own lane.

If shouty British post-punk can be thought of as a kind of musical Buckaroo, then with every new band adding its two cents to the teetering pile, the whole genre gets a little closer to that final snap. If you’re going to try and elbow your way into this most overpopulated of markets, then, you’d better have something different to say - and while, on paper, Glasgow’s Humour are offering up a familiar set of wares (slicing guitars, vocals that take a liberal approach to the term ‘singing’), on ‘Pure Misery’’s best moments the quartet do bring something new to the table. Opener ‘yeah, mud!’ has a silliness to it that nods to ‘90s oddballs Sultans of Ping F.C, while the EP’s title track is yelped out with such frenzied insanity, you’ve got to give frontman Andreas Christodoulidis his dues for really committing to the bit. ‘jeans’’ howling delivery and ominous stalk have more in common with Viagra Boys than their UK peers, however on dirgey previous single ‘alive and well’, they lose some of that personality, only really harnessing the energy again in a crescendoing final third. Same goes for closer ‘good boys remember well’, which musically feels like it could have been left on Fontaines DC’s cutting room floor. Still, far from the despair of its title, ‘Pure Misery’ has lots in it to love - even more so when Humour go all out and stand firm in their own lane.

Source []

Humour takes many forms – dark, satirical, slapstick, and sarcasm. However, five boys from Glasgow are redefining Humour as we know it. Leadman Andreas Christodoulidis’ unique delivery doesn’t fit with conventional ideas of singing, so to speak. His is more of a unique brand of narration, strained and angst ridden. Their debut EP, ‘Pure Misery’ is not necessarily what the title suggests. It is a series of tales including some of the banalities of life, such as getting an MOT. Opener ‘Yeah Mud’ has a sense of childish freedom intertwined with a degree of nihilism. The juxtaposition is thrilling, as you bounce along with Christodoulidis’ infectious enthusiasm. 

With that enthusiasm coursing through your veins, Humour then lead you down an unexpected path. Through a strangled, frustrated voice comes the refrain ‘I gotta tell you something’. It feels as though ‘Yeah Mud’ was the fun, catchy attention grabbing tune, ensuring the band’s audience is sufficiently hooked to listen to the more pressing message being conveyed in ‘Pure Misery’. Andreas continues on in an almost drowning, stupefied yet determined tone, telling his listeners that he’s ‘the one with the band, mannn’, an attempt at finding pride and identity in a saturated world. No doubt it’s a sentiment shared by hundreds of front men, yet Humour are the ones bringing it front and centre, delivered in a way that drives a stake through the heart, planting a seed in the mind of the listener, enveloped by that oh-so memorable voice. 

Tropes of banality infused with meaning permeate the rest of the EP, particularly in the case of ‘Dogs’ and ‘Jeans’, while ‘Alive And Well’ deals with that eternal issue of being a pleaser, yet despite his best efforts, “everyone is pissed off me…” Lastly, ‘Good Boys Remember Well’ is erratic in its narrative, jumping from seemingly unlinked thought to thought, perhaps a reflection of the uncertainty of youth, not knowing which path to try and take, let alone which paths are open to young Glaswegian men trying to make something stick in the music industry. It’s an honest, clear while clogged, succinct while scattergun approach, and something about it simply works. A compelling, confusing, relatable and somewhat apt set of narratives for these most uncertain of times. 

Source []