Tom Ewing’s Top 100 Singles Of The 90s

Kurt Wagner thoughtfully massages his cheek with his tongue and launches into another tight, cryptic slice of something. ‘Alternative country’ doesn’t seem to fit, certainly – there may be grief and melodrama and pedal steel in Lambchop’s music but there’s also a lustrous southern soul brass section and that beautiful, arch singing. Most of the time Kurt sounds pretty bruised, but the reasons why disappear down trenches between the lines, and you’re left with people eating all the sausages and separating wood from screws and interfering with sprinklers: in Lambchopland these tiny actions bear impossible, gnomic weight.

So here’s my take on what’s happening in “Your Sucking Funny Day”, the bowdlerised single version of a differently and predictably-titled track from Thriller and also Lambchop’s most flat-out commercial tune, opening with a war whoop and a burst of horn power and rattling along like it actually meant to sell something. What I get out of it is that mixed sense of envy and contempt the terminally outsiderish bear for the bought-in, in this case possibly the suburban bought-in. So sunshine bores the daylight out of Kurt, sure, but the music’s too gung-ho to suggest he means it one hundred percent. Or maybe that’s not it at all: I’ve used “Your Sucking Funny Day” to articulate a hundred and one goofy emotions to myself, infatuation, joy, spite and more, but after all that the one and only thing I know for sure about the song is quite how hard that horn riff swings.