Candi does tough, too, albeit still with incredible hair and make-up. “I Am Radio” kicks like Stereolab with a migraine and a tight deadline. Chunky truck driver man riffs with clipped, “Who’s the boss?” demands. “I! AM! A! RADIO!” barks Constant like some shiny pink ‘Lady Dalek’. If you’re not ashamed to show some lovin’ for Flock of Seagulls’ “Space Age Love Song”, hop aboard and let’s float on. “Children of the Tone” — the theme to their planned animated feature (seriously) — is another walk on the wildside. It’s Glass Candy’s Ida No purring Kim Wilde’s “Cambodia” whilst looking ‘mysterious’ and ‘intrigued’, but at all times still ‘severly glamorous’. It’s possible to do a robot dance to it whilst wearing a black bin liner and lime green wraparound shades. Not that I did that, but it’s definitely ‘possible’.
Despite its new romantic leanings, two of its nine valentines are clearly stamp marked ‘NY, NY, 1969’. “Velvet” crashes through towers of Mo Tucker crescendos to fall into the arms of Nico’s ghost mumbling about “Explosions, multiple explosions”. Tambourines, polo necks, Ray Bans, sensitive fringes, and a swinging “Do do do” hook. Prom night collapsing under flames, it will sound amazing live. It’s Candi’s “Common People”, one nation of misfits under a groove. It’s twinned by galloping single “Nico Regrets”. Weird scenes in the goldmine with “People’s brains” on a “Jesus trip”. “Just for a minute I’d like to turn the whole world on”, drawls Constant like the lost orphan of Ken Kesey and Patty Hearst. Destination ‘further’, baby.
10th of Always knows how to make an entrance, but more importantly how to bow out. Its tail carries its sting. The title track is a full-on, arms aloft, lighters out, winner’s anthem. That moment in the movie where the guy realises he’s been a doofus and in a blinding moment of clarity, flips the car around and tries to stop the girl from getting on that plane. It’s Benjamin Braddock banging on the church window, trying to stop time, desperate for Elaine Robinson to look up. It’s widescreen, imperial pop fuelled by midnight madness and momentary magic. The seven-minute finale (don’t worry, it’s ace) “The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful” is a supermodel and, hell, it knows it. Confident, classy, majestic, and a little stoned, it’s their “Purple Rain”, their “Hey Jude”, their “I Am the Resurrection”. From its Doors-esque creeping intro, the stop-start ‘catch me’ drums and spiralling moog riff, to its other worldly regal vocal, it screams “Congratulations! You’re a winner”. It’s even cocky enough to slip in a burst of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” for fun. It’s serpentine melody winds off into the night leaving you swooning and hungry for more. Hey, that’s some way to say goodbye.