Happy Mondays – In The Blood

21st January 2024 · 2000s, 2007, Music

Not many people liked Happy Mondays’ fifth album Uncle Dysfunctional when it came out in 2007. I’m not sure I even heard it at the time; I may not even have known (or cared) that they had reunited two years earlier.

A lot of it is patently rubbish, and its first single Jellybean was once voted one of the worst songs of the decade by the Village Voice. It’s hard to disagree, and it’s not even the worst track – the utterly abysmal Cuntry Disco (sic) is hard to beat for that.

This tune, however, stands out for all the right reasons and shows that when they’re on it (and when were they ever not?) they could come up with the goods.

Lacking the band’s original guitarist or bass player, the new line-up formed by Sean Ryder and Kavin Sandhu has a sound that’s a hybrid of hip-hop, funk, dub, and lots of other elements, including country.

It’s got more in common with Black Grape than the original Mondays, and might have come out under their name were it not for the presence of Sandhu and drummer Gary Whelan alongside Bez, Mikey Shine, Julie Gordon, Dan Broad, but mostly it’s something that is uniquely and immediately their own, especially on this track, In The Blood.

I love the bass-heavy groove, the reggae-style melodica, the sense of space and of course Sean’s rambling vocal, delivering lyrics that he probably wrote an hour or two before recording them.

“I’m gonna build a fuckin’ house next door to you,” he threatens, before going off on one with some stream-of-consciousness nonsense verse: “Carry On movie, Carry or move it, B,B,B, burn a lamb, Amuser, amuser, use it.”

Answers on a postcard.