BLACK BOX RECORDER – Brutality (from CD single The Facts of Life, Nude Records)
Chris Morris references are, I admit, unhealthily recurrent in my contributions here. But the calm, polite, cut-glass tones of Sarah Nixey intoning such calm, gentle words, not her own, which conceal so much frustration, anger and outright rage beneath, can only be compared to Jam. Those office workers displaying such under-the-carpet perversions in such “normal” tones … the destruction-from-within of the most repressive practices of the English middle class orchestrated by Haines, Moore and Nixey is its musical equivalent, and all the more addictive for that.

“The Facts of Life” is in the consciousness now. UK Top 20, it’s done its job. Look behind it and you find “Brutality”, the harshest shock I’ve heard from them yet, written by people who clearly look at the Daily Telegraph letters page with disgust and contempt but, like me, can’t let it go, feel drawn to chronicle further its illusion, delusion and epic self-destruction. Sarah’s audibly disgusted by what she’s chronicling, she can’t be part of it, she looks back at its historical association with her own social class and background with deep contempt. But she has to carry it through, and what comes out is 2 minutes and 19 seconds that best distil what Haines has aimed at for nearly 10 years now. Chronicling what you despise, the pill sugared but still dominated by lacerating cynicism.