Single Review: Stephen Evens – I Hate Shop

As an album track this doesn’t stand out as much as some of the tracks on his brilliant second long player Employee Of The Month, released late last year, but it’s not until you hear it as a standalone single, or better still check out the wonderfully funny and silly video that accompanies it that it truly comes into its own. Stephen Evens is a true great British eccentric, full of pathos and bathos (not to mention D’Artagnan!), wonderfully irreverent and humorous but with great depth, and a capacity to make tears come out of your stupid faces.

This one won’t make you cry, unless it’s in sympathy to the great man’s plight, being forced to actually have to work for a major high street retailer (*shudders at the very thought*), or for those of you who have to endure that horrible existence. Even so, it’s more likely to make you smile at the hapless plight of this poor soul having to endure such torment ,”Can’t take another hour, or the following six” he decries over the fuzzed up, almost toy sounding guitar, thrashing about in its tedium, before declaring he’s going to “burn it down”, and that’s not even the first day. He goes on to plead “Grab your coat, grab your bag and run, don’t even wait until the day has gone”. Advice he follows with the warning that if you don’t “you’re here until the day you want to die”.

It’s got everything you want from a scuzzy punky DIY garage pop song. Riffs…you’ve got ’em, Shouting…YES!, Simple singalong chorus…tick, fizzing noises…err, the use of the phrase “Fiddlesticks”…of course, and lots of “AAARGH”. What more do you want? Buy it, download it, put it on whatever system you use to make sound appear, turn it up LOUD and leap around the room in your undies with a tennis racket guitar until you have a little fall, and a great big bruise will appear later to remind you what a great song it was…then repeat.

“I Hate Shop” is taken from the album Employee of The Month, out now on Onomatopoeia Records – order now on vinyl, CD or digital download via Bandcamp.

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Review by Andrew Wood

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