I’ve said it a million times, Dream City Film Club were awful, awful rubbish. All that grating midatlantic ‘I wanna be in The Stooges’ crap, the sub-Birthday Party wank fantasies... ew. Their saving graces consisted of little more than a pretty name (taken from a burnt out London porn cinema), a handsomely eyelashed frontman, and oh – 'The Curse'. 'The Curse' was surely the hex that commanded DCFC’s timely break up. A wretchedly beautiful wreckage of slowburning 50s pop ballad nursing a wounded, stabbing - but handsomely crooned - lyric gagging bitterly on the Evils That Love Does. "Been betrayed by my loved one. May their sky turn black above. May they choke on each other’s tongues. May they never fall in love…". It was the best break up song in the world ever.

Fittingly, my copy was last seen being hurled across a pub table at a philandering ex.

It was the song that set the tone for DCFC frontman Michael J. Sheehy’s somewhat more engaging solo work. His first solo album, 2000’s 'Sweet Blue Gene', opened with a hilariously pathetic and moving proposal of a ménage a trois to safeguard his loved one from stealing away with a lesbian lover ("I don’t care what you do with her…just love me.").

'No Longer My Concern' holds to a similar template of spooked devotional hymnlets, each twisted inside out with convoluted explicitness - the bleed-bop single, 'Donkey Ride Straight To Hell', for instance, musically and lyrically is nothing less than Mulholland Drive relocated to pebble-frosted Hastings – and brimming with lapsed Catholicisms. Its lyrical themes – “messing women around and being messed around in return… premature ejaculation… drinking on a Good Friday” – are classic Sheehy. The opposite sex are the one constant, from the tongue-in-Anita Lane’s-cheek opening mope of 'Distracting Yourself From The Doom' to the closing drugged-seduction lullaby, 'Twisted Little Man'. Women are a necessary vice, they are the ugly-mirror Michael sees himself in; his music is always about him, narcissistically so, but he feeds narrative through the eyes of the female counterparts who complete the fatally destructive trysts that plague his songs. Crucially, he defines himself in relation to how he’s perceived by these femme fatales, spider-women, Holy Mothers of God even… and, oh deary. Yeah, it’s not pretty. The kick to it though, of course, is that he’s the biggest tart of them all.

Not that he shies away from it, here he’s in competition with the very best: Girls – angelwraiths - with eyes like pools of liquid crystal and poured porcelain skin and the moves of a hologram. Truthsayer prostitutes with the wisdom of the world curled up inside their vaginas. This is an album both for and against men who consider sex to be worshipful and repulsive because snaffling, infecting someone with your stinking seed, is like chewing off little pieces of a purer soul.

It’s a love affair, this album, just not with the protagonists in the songs. It’s Sheehy screwing himself in the ass. It’s Sheehy fucking we, the listeners, and then degrading us by finishing himself off. Well, hey, it’s the only true love…

But, oh God, MJS has a siren’s voice – just unequivocally beautiful, a darkly feminine spine-slayer unequalled in the allure of its tender damnations. A voice that could lead you crashing onto the rocks in your JD ‘n’ aspirin, gently intoning words that strip away your knickers thread by thread.

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to feel guilty about it.
Except he doesn’t, of course. He savours every last drop of sin, swilling it around his blaspheming mouth and dribbling it into his sores. He justifies it all by punching holes in his karma each time he clocks in at the local whorehouse.

His frequent self-indulgences (‘Ballad Of The Pissed Apostle’, ‘Mary Bloody Mary’… psychic dead ends of the kind that bore DCFC out to sea) constantly betray the lie that this is music to wash away the hurt, an album for us - it isn’t, he’s just in it for the petty prizes of the seduction. But, oh God, the sex was good.

It’s Roses and Rohypnol, four poster beds and knives under the mattress.

“We made love, viciously, by the light of a filthy grey dawn. Gnashing teeth and thrashing bones, muscles all twisted and torn…”

A love so debased it’s way beyond pure. The drops of dried blood on the sheets look like cigarette burns in Snow White’s arms.

But it’s a lie. A pretence. A gorgeous sham to keep us occupied while he tugs his insecurities to near blindness.

“Remember the night I first jumped your bones? Under the stars, against the cold hard stones. And you – no resistance at all. And I shot my load in the time it takes a teardrop to fall…The first disappointment, though it wouldn’t be the last.”

Whore. Bitch. Slut.

“I’ll find me a modest beauty, who doesn’t care much who she’s with. She’ll say ‘You have pretty lashes’ and take me back to where she lives… and maybe we’ll get too familiar, and then I’ll have to leave. I’ll pretend that I’m unhappy, but I’ll be laughing up my sleeve... I’ll find me a modest beauty, who’s just been broken by her man. I’ll say ‘You have pretty lashes’ and take her back to where it all began…”

You make me want to grind glass into my wrist and spit wine in your face. Promise me you’ll name your first abortion after me.

“Kick off your high heels, careful where you stand… don’t you move too close, I’m a twisted little man. Heaven help me, I know what I am… won’t you lend a hand to this twisted little man? The sweetest song, simple and plain… brought me to my knees in fear and shame. A song of forgiveness for those who believe…sweet salvation, I have been deceived.”

You’re dead skin and brittle bones, old chap! This isn’t living. It’s sucking in other’s joy and breathing out disease. Your lungs are all blackened and charred with bitterness. God, you’re beautiful.

'No Longer My Concern'is an album of pretty, pretty lies.

But hey, it’s like the Captain said, bones heal and chicks dig scars. Pain is fleeting, glory is forever.











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