The Manchester-based anti-folk band Crywank have recently dropped their latest record; Don’t Piss On Me, I’m Already Dead. Crywank have always been uniquely crude with their naming and have no shame in being “the worst named band in history”, seemingly thriving in the amusement of it.
Don’t Piss On Me, I’m Already Dead is considerably more stripped down than previous work by the band, revealing frontman James Clayton’s pessimism and struggling emotions as the basic, raw emotions that they are. ‘Forlorn Leghorn’ introduces the album in a chilled instrumental way that soothes and calms before more of Clayton’s inner conflicts are unveiled throughout the album. More so than previous tunes, James Clayton’s untouched accent and raw vocals are the prominent feature of his music.
Despite the nihilistic name and sad aura, the album does have its nuggets of optimism and hope which gives the album a fresh twist. The upbeat rhythms of ‘Squeezing the Damp Tea Towel to Its Final Few Drips’ and the positive lyrics in ‘A Deer Mistaking Candles for Headlights’ are both refreshing breaks in the album that encourage a new outlook on life: “come walk with me on the greater road” The unrefined and basic appearance of lyrics almost makes the album more refined in its nature, without sugarcoating emotions.
The cynical lyricism and release of frustration is still key to their music, and although it could be seen as an overworked theme, is the essence of their music. Despite some of the track names trivialising the ever prominent sadness, ‘Me Me Me (Boo Hoo)’ is a song that juxtaposes its refreshing catchy melody and almost childlike lyrical rhyming; “hypercritical… analytical… apolitical” with the existential and sad themes; “Each line written is lazy and boisterous, hard not to see my endeavours as pointless” .
As something that started as a solo project in 2009, Crywank have come far but there is clearly still a lot of potential from the band, particularly with the Bon-Iver esque vocal moments in ‘Love’, to create something that’s perhaps not quite so messy or confused, but with the same amount of self-deprecation and narcissism that is quintessential to Crywank.
By Martha Wright