Description of Night Club, from the Slampt label catalogue:
18 song LP/CD. Slow, slinky. "Nice wee tunes". And still abrasive pop boys w/unhealthy tastes for Cinema, thick make-up, Prole birthdaays, Roxy girls, etc. Addictive LP alert. A joint label release w/ the guided Missile label.
Night Club review from Twee Kitten
There are two schools of thought on approaching a record like this. You could take the Rolling Stone stick up your butt hack-like approach and proclaim this drivel for all of it's tiny, tinny, regrettable similarities to the Fall and Gang of Four, and slag it as a parody of itself rather than a parody of anything of content. You could hear "Theme From Ultraba" and say, well that has only been done better by only 3000 other bands, and you could laugh at the singer's attempt at crossing Mark E. Smith with Damon from Blur, and christ you could dis the pink cover art and get away with it. But then the second approach could be applied, armed with the knowledge that the Fall haven't released a decent piece of "music" since the famously brilliant Extricate and you can sorta picture how this reminds some of the first Gordons ep (a stretch for sure) and you can think that with titles like "Plastic Cowboy" and "I Am Cosmetic Man" that these guys are hardly serious, and parody just may be their advantage. Well, it matters little which approach you take, cause the final result is that this is catchy, innocent almost to the point of diffidence and a heck of a lot of fun. Apparently Bis loves them, not that that should influence you, but there is lots to love here.
Description of Night Club from Melody Maker's "50 Greatest Albums Of 1996" chart.
The Sound Of Young Scotland, as distorted through years of listening to Bogshed's quirky northern humour. Outlandish song titles, outrageous guitar breaks and the coolest specs this side of Spud. Mark E Smith's mutoid wasted sons.
Kinky Cimema review from Twee Kitten
This is the blitzkrieg version of a pop album, sixty songs in sixty-nine minutes. A maelstrom of guitar licks stolen from the Fall and lyrics plucked from Mother Goose's institutionalized cousin, all of which, I am pretty certain, have no relation nor any indirect tie to El Nino.
The Yummy Fur are a Scottish collective whose idea of pop-punk music is to make a groovy din and float some insanely clever or ridiculous (point of view thing) lyrics on top and basically not take anything too seriously. But of course your saying--60 songs??? Surely it is just the bottom of the barrel repackaged and sold to stiffs like me at premium prices? Well not exactly.
Instead what it is is a barrage of well intentioned ideas, some taken all the way to fruition others just playing along to keep the good vibrations going. They don't disguise their influences well but that makes this record all the more keen as near the end there is a new prominence of toy keyboards and brilliant organs that seem to act as a compass leading the boys towards a sound of their own. There are ace new versions of 'Plastic Cowboy' and 'Kodak Nancy Europe' both of which appeared on the debut lp 'Nightclub'.
The future hereos of Bis fans everywhere.
Kinky Cimema review from NME:
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A WORLD where Lung Leg are more important than the Spice Girls; the sex-depleted, pale-faced student world of miserable gigs in the back rooms of smelly pubs attended by audiences of double figures. You have? Thought so. You can, then, righteously convince yourself of your moral superiority to the rest of the world and the fact that the half-arsed, out-of-tune ramblings of the pus-faced potato heads onstage trying to look androgynous is better than Oasis. Or - ugh! - dance music.
Look further up your arse and you'll find The Yummy Fur, every bit as retro as Ocean Colour Scene and equally useless. While all the Weller wannabes are recycling 1969 Traffic and Clapton, The Yummy Fur and their piss-poor fanzine-spawned ilk have cottoned on to the joyless, drab world of post-punk failures like The Delta 5, Prag Vec and The Prefects.
The Yummy Fur are prolific - 60 songs in their first five years - and they still churn them out like offal through a mincer. They have a sense of humour, or at least imagine that they do, and lots of quirky junkie/pop culture and Warholian references. They are, in fact, an art school reincarnation of Half Man Half Biscuit, something that probably makes them immensely proud.
Still, this is just the dishonest hippie music press not 'getting it' as usual, so take heart, fanzine writers. This attack should strengthen your solidarity. Rating: 4
Male Shadow review from Jockrock:
Another band who have perhaps mellowed their sound (this month only, presumably). This mini album contains 7 tracks which fairly rock, but there's a very definite catchiness to each and every tune. There's a definite theme running through the album too, shall we say 'religion', where amongst other things we find out what 'smack my bitch up' really means. For now, let us praise the Yummy Fur.
Male Shadow review from NME:
OH, IT'S ALL SUCH JOLLY FUN! THE BOYISH charm, the stumbling tinky-twanks of the slightly-beyond-capability guitar intricacy, the cheesy analogue synth waspishness and the skewed, derisory humour.
Glaswegian indie drones The Yummy Fur have such an overwhelming desire to please that you simply can't condemn them. Saturated with the very essence of DIY tradition, they seem irresistibly compelled to drench their, admittedly alluring, material with heartwarming, cliched enticements and the very comedy couplets that have previously condemned legions of studiously quirky garage bands to the joys of the biscuit factory.
Herein does not lie the stuff of longevity. Lyrical obsessions include an unhealthy fixation with the sexual peculiarities inherent in Catholicism ('Catholic'), the emboldening effects of a maple leaf security blanket ('The Canadian Flag') and the finer points of foreplay and fornication ('Young Fucks Need Fingers'). The latter being so uncomfortably close to the Mark E Smith muse it's a virtual Fall pastiche.
With forehead-slapping inevitability the Fur have even composed one of those 'show-stopping' autobiographical anthems that every single, humour-encumbered combo in the history of under-achievement have included in their Bacofoil armoury ('Colonel Blimp'). Heaven forfend they should ever gravitate towards the ironic cover version; the notion of a Caledonian Snuff is too much to bear. Whatever, 'Male Shadow...' crams seven slices of verbose inspiration, received wisdom and sixth-form angst into 20 glorious minutes of studious diversity. It's yummy alright, but you wouldn't want a second helping. Rating: 6
Reviews of Male Shadow and Sexy World by Adrian Denning
Scanned fanzine review of "Male Shadow".
Sexy World review from Jockrock:
Not content with making the mini-album of the year in 'The Canadian Flag', the Fur, as we shall call them, now make a late bid for Album of the Year proper. Sexy World is a curious work, full of excellent tunes, but sounding deliberately retro in places, with vocoder and Moogy synths. It's a blend of their 'no guitars' work "Shoot the Ridiculant" and the aforementioned Canadian Flag - if you'd heard either of these you would know that this is actually a pretty decent combination.
Sexy World review from Gullbuy.com:
From an ad for the Bull & Gate: "The Yummy Fur will beplaying tonight at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town, London. Support will come from 'The Male Nurse' and 'The Karelia' and it promises to be a stunning gig. The band will also be playing the Roxy Records launch party at the Water Rats in Kings Cross, London on 21 March. Other bands playing at this gig include 'The Family Way' and 'Sportique'. Make sure you are there." If you judge a band by the company they keep this is enough to know they are great. The Yummy Fur are a Scottish band who used to play songs under a minute long. The are known for their particular guitar style, their barked out lyrics, and their pushing of boundaries. Last year they got a keyboard player, and a lot of the most familiar aspects of their sound changed. Their songs got much longer. This is the fist LP after they've changed. It follows up a 7" ("Shoot The Ridiculant") which is on here. Some of the songs are great, and some songs are just OK. They use a vocoder in several songs. As a whole I like The Yummy Fur as much as ever, and actually applaud their insistance on following their own muse instead of sticking to what we've loved and expected from them.
Sexy World review from NME:
The Yummy Fur have taken their familiar sci-fi conspiracy theorists' paranoia to new heights on this, their third album. 'Sexy World' is a domain inhabited by aliens - which the Fur, in a moment of fey postmodernism, refer to as 'Ridiculants'. This, and other such imaginings, means that 'Sexy World' becomes something of a - horror! - concept album.
It's not their fault that they've ended up this way, though. Oh no - it's those squeaky popsters Bis who are to blame. For while the Fur can remember the C86 wars, and have earned their stripes on the odd Peel session, it was fellow Glaswegians Bis who got the credit for making candy-coated punk pop the thing it is today.
Instead of living in Bis' shadow then, we find the Fur have instead invested even more heavily in analogue-heavy, short, noisy belts of sound - 13 of them on this in all - and with singer John McKeown's tortured Metal Mickey/vocoder meanderings it makes for a very prickly, very strange experience. In fact, it could be the sound of men drowning in a half of lukewarm lager in the indie disco at the end of the universe.
Cab for the Ridiculants, anyone? Rating: 4
Walt Disney... review from CMJ Magazine Jan 96
And if you think that's an unwieldy title, The Yummy Fur's first 7" EP was called Kodak Nancy Europe Or Police Eyeball Convention Plastic Ghoul Show. There's a certain thread of British bands that make scratchy, nearly atonal hit-and-run records with lots of songs crammed onto them - you can draw a line straight from Big Flame through Bogshed and the Stretchheads to The Yummy Fur. This Scottish trio is a big part of the Slampt/Piao! scene of hyperproductive do-it-yourself bands (others include the likes of Avocado Baby, Kenickie, Pussycat trash and Golden Starlet). Like the first EP, this one has 10 great, twitchy little songs on it; if you don't like the rhythmic idea that any particular one of them is built on (they mostly sound like Bo Diddley having an attack of Tourette's Syndrome), that's okay, there'll be another one along in 40 seconds of so. They're also smart as hell and very funny - one song is called "Kabuki Actor's Christmas", and "Father Ubu Says" is inspired by Alfred Jarry's play, not David Thomas's band.
Kodak Nancy Europe review from Panx punk distro (in French):
"KODAK NANCY EUROPE", DANS LA LIGNEE DE THE FALL, 10 TITRES DISSONNANTS, DECONCERTANTS, MAIS QUAND ON AIME, ON NE S'EN LASSE PAS, ILS SONT BIEN SUR ANGLAIS, 1995.
which I think translates roughly as...
"KODAK NANCY EUROPE", In the same line as The Fall, 10 tracks of dissonance and discord, but good if you like that kind of thing. They are very English, 1995.
Kodak Nancy Europe review from Fisheye Distribution:
Probably not the correct title, but it'll do for this document. Ten short bursts of energetic pop from the busiest band in Scotland. Spikier than Lungleg, poppier than GodCo. Could be the Fire Engines playing Gag songs.
Plastic Cowboy review from Record Collector February 97:
These gladatorial Glaswegians spit furious, Wire-taut polemic fused with shades of The Fire Engines and early Fall. The vocalist has a Terry Hall squall in his voice, circa "Too Much Too Young", and as their name suggests, the wqhole lot of them are absolutely barking mad. Each of the three tracks is nothing but superb. Destined for greatness.
Supermarket review from NME 22nd February 1997:
There's obviously some sort of horrid musical bug going around. In normal circumstances, The Yummy Fur's spiky, slurred Gallon Drunk swamp-rock would give me terrible wind and ruin the line of my suit. But I've become so taken with the inept drawl of 'Supermarket', I'm actually considering selling my entire Tygers Of Pan Tang collection and buying a secondhand Pastels anorak instead. Urgh, I've become 'Open-minded'. Never leave your home Morrissey fans. You'll become like me.
Policeman review from Melody Maker 5th April 1997:
Have The Yummy Fur discovered dope? This is very laid-back for them, almost "lazy-beat" - the Bogshed door has finally been closed. "Policeman" is another brilliantly funny product of warped madman/genius John McKeown's f***ed-up brain and it's as charmingly erratic as he is.
Policeman review from NME 29th March 1997:
The Yummy Fur are ace, partly because they release new records for different labels every other week, each featuring the latest phase in their ongoing quest to become the psychedelic Half Man Half Biscuit. 'Policeman' posits a valid dilemma for today's counter-culturally aware youth: when junkies are forced by their marginalisation from scoiety to steal video recorders and televisions which serve to educate and enlighten the good people, where do one's sympathies lie? Is the man in blue really always the enemy? Never fear, Da Fur decide: "Oh policeman, I'd love to spend an evening/Snorting cocaine off the stomach of your girlfriend".
Policeman review - Record Collector single of the month April 1997:
We raved about the Yummies' "Plastic Cowboy" in RC 210 and this 7" finds the difficult Glaswegians moving onwars and upwards with a two-tiered slice of bastard pop which fades into a cosy, Eno-stroking coda. That's the B-side, but the A is just as good. "You indie kids are fukking monekys" rants the sleeve. Couldn't agree more.
Stereo Girls review from Melody Maker 20th September 1997:
"Stereo Girls" is the band's first song where the guitars are an after-thought and is thus completely at the mercy of repellent new wave keyboards. So they claim. The flipside contains a deliberately embedded reference to Joy Division. Corking!
(Another) Stereo Girls review from Melody Maker 4th October 1997:
Dumb disco: only, so much smarter than most bands on this planet. "Sexy, in a bad way", they say. Pop, in a good way. Instant, in a terrific way. It's Deborah Harry and Iggy dancing round their handbags. They claim Joy Division as an influence - not one I'd have spotted. Maybe that's the point. Though The Yummy Fur boast of their plagiarism, they don't "lift" things as much as scratch, contort, twist, re-interpret and stamp all over them. Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got pop in my tummy.
Stereo Girls review from Record Collector January 98:
These Seven Itches Of Pledge regulars christen the new label run by a Wiiija records spokesperson with cliams to be the musical equivalent of Brian Eno in a Union Jack Geri Spice frock. A more exacting pigeonhole might be Blur's "Girls & Boys" played by Kenickie - all kooky synths, tinny guitars and wide-eyed stares.
Shoot the Ridiculant review from Melody Maker 4th July 1998:
"I have been doing some writing. Will send some samples when I locate a typewriter. This town seems to have several dimensions. I have experienced a series of Kafkian incidents that would certainly have sent Carl back to the nut house" - letter from William S Burroughs to Allen Ginsberg, "The Letters Of William S Burroughs 1945 to 1959".
In which LL Cool J's favourite lo-fi group decide that really they're a cross between Kraftwerk, seventies prog-rockers ELO and a pair of incontinent Daleks.
And why not?
For those of you who appreciate that if you need to sleep, you could do a lot worse that put on Kraftwerk's "Autobahn"...
Shoot the Ridiculant review from NME August 15th 1998:
Eternal respect to da Fur, not least for maintaining a brisk release schedule that invariably brightens lean weeks on the 45 front such as this. In true '70s jukebox disco record stylee, 'Shoot The Ridiculant' is one long groover split over two sides of a seven-inch single, and is perfect lo-fi hi-energy vocoders-R-us computerised scuzz. Alternatively, Kraftwerk by people with an aversion to werk.
Shoot the Ridiculant review - Record Collector August 98:
"There are no guitars on this recording", boast the Fur, who use more vocoders than anyone since Neil Young's "Trans". Computerised pop is alive and programmed to deliver a silly and endearing ditty. Nearly enough to persuade you that the early 80s weren't so bad after all.
Shoot the Ridiculant review from No Pictures fanzine:
The very productive Yummy Fur here have gone all silly and Kraftwerk and it works against them.
Glasgow EP review from Gullbuy.com:
We have the 'London' 7" in this series too, on this subsidiary label of Guided Missile. Yummy Fur have a strong song recorded in the 'Sexy World' (their latest album) sessions. The song ("Shivers") kicks, and features the current long song-good production plan the band has been practicing lately, as opposed to the (still great) minute long spazz out bursts they used to record on 4 and 8 track studios. Mogwai have a short instumental that features their bass heavy sound. El Hombre Trajeado (The Suited Man) also have a CD on Guided Missile. They play mostly instrumental songs that sound like the instrumental parts of Arab Strap crossed with Hendrix (a listener gave the Hendrix reference when he called to ask what he was listening to). The Karelia used to be called the Blisters. We have songs from them under that name on the 'Prole Life' CD compilation in our library, which came out on Cherry Red Records to chronicle the Glasgow bands in 1995.
Glasgow EP review from Jockrock:
#2 in a series, 'London' being the first, where Guided Missile's sister label takes a trip round the UK looking for new talent. And where better than Glasgow to pick up on what's happening? All tracks are exclusive including Mogwai's "I Can't Remember" which is great, a rumbling piano track which bumps and grinds away - much better than their last contribution to the NME or whatever. The Karelia's "New Year in New York" is nothing like the Karelia we know an d love - no trumpet, nothing like the Monochrome Set - more evocative of a journey through dark alleyways in a big city, until suddenly there's light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a blast of blippy breakbeat. El Hombre Trajeado and the Yummy Fur make up the quartet with tracks from the same sessions as their current albums, and the whole thing is a great souvenir of the music of the UK's most happening city.
This Is Andrew Sinclair review from Gullbuy.com:
WZBC has one or two of the earlier "Club Beatroot" split singles put out by the Glasgow club The 13th Note on Flotsam & Jetsam records, but I don't think any of the earlier Club Beatroot singles (this one is Volume Eight) have been as important to own as this one, with the first new The Yummy fur recording in quite some time. Usually this series captures bands before we've ever heard of them (like the band who splits this single, Olympia), but this single features a band that many of us have followed already for eight years: The Yummy Fur. The Yummy Fur started on Slampt Records with a series of EP's which were filled with very short squawks like a nerdy Minutemen playing in the style of the great Scottish band The Fire Engines. The Yummy Fur (named after a comic by Chester Brown) continued in this style for some time, then started to make their songs longer and their production better. They got a keyboard player in the band and released some kicking singles, 10"s, and LP's. Word had it that The Yummy Fur were breaking new ground with the keyboard player, but this song is the first time it is apparent. "This Is Andrew Sinclair" is a techno instrumental - something The Yummy Fur have not done before. The song has spice though, and is no dissappointment. Thetrack from the other band (Olympia) sounds like another Glasgow band whose single was added last week, Le Bleu.
This Is Andrew Sinclair review from Diskant:
Who would have thought this would end up being the final release of the Yummy Fur? I think this shows what direction they would have gone in if they hadn't split up. It's chugging with a disco beat and them vocoder vocals, kind of like Shoot the Ridiculant but without the tune. So it's all very retro modern and cool but I like the witty, sarcastic, geeky, razor guitar Yummy Fur better. By all means buy this but get everything else they’ve released first. Olympia on the other hand croon in French with silky keyboards and a clattering drumbeat. All very nice but nowt to get excited about really.
Live review from Robots and Electronic Brains:
Great gigs are made of presence, a desire to entertain, and quality tunes. Yummy Fur have all of the above in the form of a frenetic set jammed with freakish guitar led pop and enough sounds and noise to keep you grooving for a day or two. This lot are a blast and you are hearby advised to make haste towards their gigs.
Live review from Jockrock:
"This will be our last-ever gig in Edinburgh" John McKeown brightly announces as the band takes the stage at the Cas Rock. Actually, that's not strictly true, the band have already been onstage for about 20 minutes, tuning-up, or perhaps soundchecking, we can't really be sure. Perhaps that's what prompted this outburst, or perhaps it's the sparse Edinburgh crowd, or the fact that what fans there are are clustered round the bar area, avoiding the dancefloor at all costs. Either way it doesn't bode well for the gig ahead. That said, the band are perhaps taked aback at going on so early, as Lungleg were billed to appear as support, but mysteriously haven't shown up, doubtless some members of the audience will be under the impression that are actually watching Lungleg.
After the first number we have some more sound problems (similar to those experienced by Adventures in Stereo the previous week) exacerbated by the fact that band apear to be breaking in a new keyboard player (Mark Gibbons doesn't appear to be with the band any more, or perhaps he's been abducted by the same aliens that took Lungleg from us). I'd come to hear how the stunning album "Male Shadow at 3 O'Clock" translates to a live gig. Sadly, I was to be denied that also, as the band, for reasons best known to themselves, play only "Department" from said album, a few oldies thrown in, and a preview of the new single (in the same vein as "Male Shadow", perhaps not as catchy on first listen). That earth-shattering introduction was about it on the audience commnuication front, until McKeown announces "this is our last song", perhaps 30 minutes into the gig. The thing is that the band, wen they are actually playing, are tight as the proverbial, keyboards notwithstanding, with the duelling guitars blending effortlessly with the rhythm section. Effortlessly is perhaps about right, as the band are perhaps too relaxed, to the point of disinterest, though as previously explained that goes without saying.
That may well be the last time I go to see the Yummy Fur in Edinburgh.
Piece from Jockrock Scottish band guide:
Previously having a reputation as comedy cartoon punk band their new album shows them in an accomplished light as serious singer/songwriters... Bizarre change in direction on the final album 'Sexy World' saw the band strapping on synths and making a very French sound.
The Yummy Fur are mentioned in this "amusing" piece, scanned from the Melody Maker 11 April 1998
If you know of any Yummy Fur reviews not listed, please email and let us know.