Model Workers Cry EP

My initial thought upon putting on this expanded reissue from Northeast England obscuros MODEL WORKERS was that it sounded a lot like an Ed Ball and Paul Weller team-up. I know it’s a bit lazy to compare one band to another when describing an act’s sound, but I’ve never really figured out a good alternative. I’m also a little lazy. That said, I don’t just toss out comparisons lightly—I generally spend an embarrassing amount of time making sure they are apt. Seriously, I’ll waste hours queuing up stuff to find the exact songs that made a band pop in my head as a point of comparison. So, when I saw the label copy for this release specifically mentioning TELEVISION PERSONALITIES, the TIMES, and the JAM, I pumped my fist in celebration, partially in an “I just got a tough question right on Jeopardy!” kind of way, and partially because I knew I wouldn’t need to bother checking my work. Anyway! This is the band’s sole 7” (1981’s self-released “Cry” / “My Winter Of Discontent”), plus two 1980 demos and an eight-page booklet with newspaper clippings, lyrics, and other band ephemera. The studio cuts are two great poppy UK DIY numbers that probably should be more widely known. I particularly like “Cry,” which starts out as an unremarkable, nervy new wave track before a hook carried by an incredible yawny croon that’s equal parts Edwyn Collins and Tracey Thorn kicks in—real good shit! The two demos are much rougher and lean closer to mod pop than punk, but they are super catchy and definitely a welcome addition to what was already a worthwhile release. It’s a cool glimpse into what else this band might have done had they stuck it out longer than the year or so they were in existence. All in all, another essential record from the fine folks over at Sealed!