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Lady Di / Mega Emotion

Move Motherf*cker / I Know You Know I'm Perfect (Fake Feelings )

By • Nov 5th, 2020 • Category: Album review

James McAvoy’s character(s) in 2016 psychological drama ‘Split’ were responsible for many heinous crimes, but this example of multiple personalities is, happily, only a force for good.

Lisa Horton, Jan Robertson and Iain Ross – originally of thrilling Norwich pop-punksters Bearsuit – are those exhibiting the disorder, though this merely extends to recording an album with themselves.

Things are, it seems, normal, if hardly calm on the ‘Lady Di’ side – opener ‘AAAAA’ (that’s how the chorus goes) could almost see the set peak too early, a rambunctious slice of guitar pop up there with any thing produced under their former moniker.

However, ‘Peanut Cup’ is a little more considered although with a killer guitar hook and harmonies underpinned by big slabs of noise, echoing near-contemporaries bis, and although ‘Do Better’ is more of a thrashy throwaway on first listen, ‘Young Savage’ (“I’m not scared of growing old”) is slower and more intense – like Prefab Sprout, but with a bit of a metal makeover.

‘Weasel, Mine’ shows the band taken on some influences beyond their previous alter-egos, Sonic Youth and Breeders perhaps, showing that it’s not just Bearsuit reincarnate. Tracks roughly alternate between frantic and calm, ‘Home Alone’ again visiting past glories, ‘Told You’s Weezer-y pop contrasting with closing ‘SLIME’, for which “shouty” would be an inadequate summary.

So, we flip the disc and invite Lady Di to tell us about their curious 1980s electropop side – Mega Emotion.

Kicking off the six-song set, ‘I Want So Much More Than You Can Give’ is all towering synths, a la the Human League, a dreamy electropop banger. It’s followed by ‘Brains’, which is a Franz glam-rock stomp before going a bit noisily industrial in the chorus.

‘Uncomfortable’ is more… let’s say Classix Nouveaux on the basis that no-one’s referenced them for 30 years. However, Mega Emotion aren’t purely electropop in the ‘classic’ style – ‘Laura’ has a more modern feel, touching on Chvrches and even Madonna, but ‘Prime’ bridges the eras perfectly, perhaps the best track on this flipside to the breathless guitar pop we heard earlier. “We are pure, we are absolute… we are the children of 1741… 1999…” ah, prime numbered birth years, of course… no idea why, but it whirls across the dance floor, while closer ‘Grace’ sports harmonies somewhere between Fairport and Girls at Our Best – but to a thudding electro beat, of course.

The diagnosis then? Given that Bearsuit were, inexplicably and unjustly, never #1 in the hit parade, retreading that old ground is never likely to conquer the world. Mega Emotion, however, are right on trend, and given the right circumstances could easily rub shoulders with some of the hugely successful acts mentioned earlier. If not, there’s still room in this world for a Bearsuit.

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