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Welcome to the official Distractions website. We will be aiming to record the history of one of the greatest, but least heralded, of all Manchester beat groups.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One of the singles of the year - All Gigs

A cracking review of the Come Home EP from Paul Pledger at All Gigs (who also reviewed the Black Velvet EP a couple of months ago).

The Distractions - Come Home EP Review

EP Review

Having already recently reviewed a single by The Distractions ("Black Velvet"), I feel compelled to let you just discover the band for yourselves without blabbing on about their history. But, sod that, I'm going to anyway. It's OK - I'll be brief.

Formed in 1975, the once-pop band outfit drew on punk influences from 1977 onwards, released their debut 12" in 1979 ("You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That"), recorded one of the greatest indie-pop singles EVER in 1980 for Factory ("Times Goes By So Slow") and ended up being signed to Island for a few excellent singles and a slightly hit-and-miss album, still awaiting a respectful reissue (hint, hint).

2010 has seen a virtual hive of activity for original members Mike Finney and Steve Perrin, with two EP releases, this being the second. "Come Home" has a couple of title-connotations, one being that bassist and producer Nick Garside and Perrin have travelled from half-way round the world to record the three songs, plus Garside produced James' single of the same name. He also produced another fabulous indie single in "Brighter" by The Railway Children in 1987 - he's got the chops, all right.

"Lost" kicks this EP off in stunning fashion - if Pulp had written this, the entire population of good-taste world would be jumping on this, playing it and giggling like kids but, as it is, it's by The Distractions and echoes the crackling under-current of energy and unrequited romantic delusions expressed on their early singles. This is right up there with the best singles of the year, no contest. 

And there's more - flip side "Oil Painting" is back to slightly more maudlin and melancholic retroisms, yet hasn't been penned by the usual duo Finney and Perrin. Instead Occultation label-guide Nick Halliwell wrote the wondrous homage to barbed lyricists ever - you've gotta love lines like "The camera doesn't lie/You're no oil painting/but neither am I".

Third song "Nicole" is a charming mid-tempo offensive on the emotional souls out there, neither world changing nor forgettable, yet still a better pop-song than most can muster these days.

A round-up album of their very early output (plus a pile of shelved 90's material) will appear in 2011, something that collectors are seriously hankering for, but this sumptuously packaged artefact is more than enough to share a good pint with during the winter. Marvellous.
Paul Pledger


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