It’s always the quiet ones
They may be a bunch of librarians, but The Long Blondes still have the capacity to shock. Having assumed that their days are played out in black and white, soundtracked by Wire B-sides and spent searching for Katharine Hepburn’s tights on eBay, it turns out there’s more to these chic cats. ‘Once And Never Again’ may be soaked in the black-coffee romance of the Blondes’ sophisticated pop, but wipe the suave disco steam from your spectacles and there’s a Jarvis-shaped explosion of warped erotica at its heart.
“19, you’re only 19 for God’s sake/You don’t need a boyfriend”, wails Kate ‘Icon’ Jackson, slightly condescendingly before doling out love advice to her young listeners like Dear Deirdre in a beret. This may seem a bit much from a band so naff at getting laid that four of them have had to pair off with each other, but we’ll let that slide. The track bounces along with more Britpop verve than a Supergrass energy drink, but the young thing of this story is less worried about keeping her teeth nice and clean than her wrists bloody and gushing. Isolation and self-mutilation are more the kind of subject Gerard Way should be intoning about pompously over Wagnerian guitar tsunamis, but there’s a twist: as the song swoons to a climax, Kate is left dreaming of one night of Sapphic passion with her young ward. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.