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Spearmint : Sweeping the nation

A series of little crescendos building up to a sudden explosion in which [B]Lee[/B] suddenly realises that he's not singing about a bunch of poor unfortunates whose careers never took off; he's

Spearmint  : Sweeping the nation

It starts like this: "This song is dedicated to some of the best bands in the country. Some of the bands we never got to hear. Bands who never got any records out, bands who never got played on the radio, never got written about in the press..."


This, then, is a song about losers. The beat kicks in - that legendary Dobie Gray 'Out On The Floor' rhythm -
andSpearmint
singer Shirley Lee starts to tell his story. And it's a
tragic story
about how all of the bands he ever loved disappeared without even registering a vague quiver on the seismograph of the public consciousness, but it's implausibly euphoric too. A series of
little
crescendos building up to a sudden explosion in which Lee
suddenly
realises that he's not singing about a bunch of poor unfortunates whose careers never took off; he's singing about himself.



"I", he suddenly blurts out, "I've been wasting my life. I've suddenly realised".



'Sweeping The Nation' is about coming to terms with failure
and
learning to treasure those little victories that cower in the
shadow
of the monolithic disappointments. This is one of those victories;
a
breathless serotonin rush of chiming guitar chords which, for these fleeting moments, make Spearmint the most exhilarating pop
group on the planet.




It peters out. In a final rallying call, Shirley tells us
all that,
"As long as you stick to what you believe in everything you want will come to you", before a couple of guitars crash through the Saint Etienne keyboard gush and 'Sweeping The Nation'
disappears.
That little slab of homespun philosophy might be criminally untrue, but it doesn't stop you wanting to believe him. This is fantastic.

Jim Wirth

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