In the grim pre-history of pop journalism, Cro-Magnon hacks would have it that rock’n’roll was the distilled essence of two things: cars and girls. In our more enlightened times, of course, we know that there’s a little bit more to pop than that primitive combination of sex and speed. Well, most of us do anyway.
Honourable exceptions come in the form of Manchester’s [a]One Lady Owner[/a], whose debut LP is a parade of scuzzy homilies to hot rods and, with apologies, hot-rodding. In essence, it’s a bottom-heavy confection of sludgy guitar riffs and growly vocals which, depending on how charitable you feel, sounds like [a]Joy Division[/a] with a ‘Nuggets’ fixation or Fields Of The Nephilim’s ‘Dawnrazor’ at 78rpm.
But while such retro obsessions can be alluring if done with some panache (Clinic spring to mind), ‘There’s Only We’ is as debased and moronic as it is stultifyingly dull. The singles ‘Wheelkings 1973’ and the mildly embarrassing ‘Police Car Sex’ are indistinguishable from the album tracks, though grand finale ‘I Do Need You’ is not entirely without an edge of menace.
Hence, if [a]One Lady Owner[/a] were a car they’d be a 1972 Austin Allegro, and if ‘There’s Only We’ were a girl it’d be your grandmother in a basque. Not a pleasant thought.