Album Review: Isa & The Filthy Tongues – Dark Passenger


Recently I’ve found myself with a bit of extra cash floating around in my Paypal account, annoyingly while I’m skint in the real World, and so I’ve been doing a bit of impulse music buying with it. Long story short, that’s why I’ve got a copy of the new Isa & the Filthy Tongues album a bit ahead of it’s proper release in January of next year.

On Friday I got an email accusing me of being too nice in my reviews and this seems like a good chance to put the accusation to the test. You see, Isa & The Filthy Tongues aren’t really a band I’m a huge fan of. Obviously I enjoy a fair amount of their stuff, otherwise I wouldn’t have been on their mailing list to find out about their new album in the first place, however in the past they’ve also done a bit that’s left me decidedly cold. Also, they aren’t friends or relations, so I’ve got no bias coming in to the album, other than hoping it was worth my money. I’ll be impartial all the way.

Jim’s Killer kicks things off, sounding little bit Echo and the Bunnymen, a bit Jesus and Mary Chain. That’s fine with me, I like both those bands and this is a good, solid song. Although it brings The Bunnymen and The Mary Chain to mind, it doesn’t sound like a rip off, helped out in part by pleasingly moody and husky female vocals from Stacey Chavis. I tend to look favourably on songs with my name in them, but as this is mostly about someone called Jim dieing in a fire, I’m slightly frightened. Not a bad start though.

New Town Killers, co-written with Richard Jobson for his film of the same name, comes up next. This song has been about for ages, and is one I’ve heard before. I didn’t pay an awful lot of attention to it before, and right now I’m wondering why. It’s actually a beauty. Martin Metcalfe contributes the majority of the vocals, which doesn’t leave Chavis with an awful lot to do, but does give some nice melodies between the two of them. Two tracks in and I’m enjoying this a lot.
I’m not going to do the rest track by track, apart from anything else it is almost 3am and I do like to sleep sometimes. For the same reason I won’t, at least for now, touch the second disc, featuring mainly remixes of tracks that appeared on previous album Addiction.

The Mary Chain and Bunnymen reminders remain present for much of the album, but not enough to distract from what Isa & The Filthy Tongues are doing here. There’s a hint of Pixies mixed in there too. I don’t mean to sound like this is a sound-a-like album, it most certainly isn’t, it’s just that a lot of music reminds me of other music, and sometimes I get a wee bit stuck on that. Big Blue, for example, is another gem, with a chugging bass line, and gorgeous surfish guitar.

The rest of the album might not throw up much in the way of surprises, but remains at the very least good, with a few more belters in there, like Memories, and the bluesy swagger of Beautiful Girl. I’m not always a massive fan of the lyrics, but when I’m not the music is generally god enough to carry them. Oh, and I might be a little bit in love with Call Me.

So, there we go. Even coming into the album with no bias or agenda I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Boiled down to the simple question of was it worth my money the answer is a quite resounding yes, and that’s all I really care about.

I’ll pay a bit more attention to Isa & the Filthy Tongues after this.

Isa & the Filthy Tongues – MySpaceWebsite

The special double CD version of the album, the one I impulse bought (#199 out of 200 fact fans, got in there just in time), is now sold out. You can however order a regular single CD edition here.