‘I was the ugliest man in Bristol,
My skin just would not fit on top of my bones’
‘Hmmm’ pondered the Joyzine reviewer, ‘I wonder what takes my musical fancy this week?’ Enter Langkamer. Let’s see. They originate from my home city of Bristol. (Tick)…Their musical genre lies somewhere between punk, rock and country. (Tick)…Langkamer’s music has the explosive energy of a tuneful firework display. (Tick)…The band are a) musically adept and b) they also sound like jolly good fun! (Double tick).
So, a brief history. Langkamer have been creatively active since 2018. By their own admission, for a while they’ve been a tad inactive but all that changes with the release of their new single, ‘The Ugliest Man in Bristol’, out now for public purchasing purposes. Cue drummer & vocalist, Josh Jarman for some thoughtful input on what lies behind the new single.
‘Although I did spend a long, long time hating my appearance, this track isn’t entirely about corporeal aesthetics. Ugliness is more than that. It’s in your thoughts and in your soul. It’s so easy to hate yourself, especially in our diseased society. I think that self-hate is maybe the default state for humans, and a lot of people spend their whole life trying to settle that score. This song is about the moment when you finally bury that hatchet, when you learn who you really are and say to yourself ‘I’m okay with it’. Once you do that, a lot of things start to fall into place.’
Events upon ‘The Ugliest Man in Bristol’ proceed with a lone, electric guitar which wails out a melodic lament. After four bars, it is joined by a vibrant cocktail of noise and a steady rock drumbeat. Ultimately, Josh’s vocals engage with the energetic music and the frantic pace never drops for a moment, with all instruments going flat out; bass and drums maintaining a firm foundation for other instruments and vocals to sit upon.
For research purposes, I played a lot of Langkamer’s enjoyable backcatalogue and I found many of the tunes to be artistically crafted with a strong American country and western feel. While ‘The Ugliest Man in Bristol’ is certainly proficient in terms of musicality, their new single comes across as possessing a delicious, raw quality to it; essentially three minutes and four seconds of fuel-injected, rock wonderfulness which proves very hard/impossible to sit still to, especially when one’s headphones are at bursting point.
The video is …well, basically it’s madness personified. However, it matches the aura of the single perfectly and again allows the band to express themselves, while doing more of that fun stuff which they are clearly so damn good at.
In short, a fabulous, musical antidote to all dreary and negative aspects of the past 18 months. Musically, it’s a fabulous pick-me-up and, for anyone feeling down/flat, this single should be on prescription from all chemists. It’s also lyrically strong/poignant; especially for those of us who may relate specifically to the overriding message behind the song, during more insecure periods of our lives from much younger days…or indeed, for those currently cursed with this negative self-perception.
Please play this very, very loudly and let the happy dancing begin.
‘The Ugliest Man In Bristol’ is available now as a digital download via Bandcamp.
Review by Kevin Milsom