“And Don’t the Kids Just Love it” by Television Personalites (Part 2)

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“And Don’t the Kids Just Love it”, is the debut album by Television Personalities, which was recorded in 1980 after the band formed in 1978. Released in 1981, “And Don’t the Kids Just Love it”, is Post-Punk personified, capturing the DIY ethos of their Punk Peers, whilst adding their Kitchen-sink reality, urban poetry, youthful idealism, wondrous dreams and refreshing child-like honesty into the mix. With Dan Treacy on vocals/guitar, Ed Ball on bass and Mark “Empire” Sheppard on drums “And Don’t the Kids Just Love it” is a brilliant album, whose humble vocals,  melodic twangs, eerie narratives, rumbling beats and translucent riffs is a direct invitation into the paradoxes, contradictions, 3D world and parallel universe of Television Personalities.

With Treacy as the frontman, Televison Personalities were very much an open book, written behind closed doors, whilst day-dreaming under the stars. With a duality of child-like wonder, and dark sardonic wit, Treacy’s presence is endearing and intriguing in equal measures. As a debut album, “And Don’t the Kids Just Love it”, draws upon the band’s musical heroes, cult influences in the arts and cultural references, which simultaneously provides the muse and escape route from the mundanities and frustrations of life. What’s magical about this album is it’s an album that wears its heart on its sleeve, placing its heroes on a pedestal, whilst proving that dreams do come true. It is a rudimentary time capsule of youth, a creative catharsis, a catalyst, an alchemical wizard, and an album which is mystically influential, whilst becoming a cult classic over the passage of time.

1) Through  tribal beats, “This Angry Silence” pulsates with angst whilst being silenced by the white noise fog. It’s a great track, whose nimble fingered riffs rally the troops whilst resonating against the primitive emotions and primal shrieks. Along with Treacy’s deadpan delivery, “The Angry Silence” is that Bona-fide post-punk track, which makes you stand up and listen, reunites the misfits and flips melancholy on the head and creates a sense of solidarity and celebration.

2) “The Glittering Prize” is wonderfully upbeat and self-effacing and throbs with grit, whilst tinged with a metallic sheen. It’s a great track, whose humble lyrics reflect the realism and frustrations of everyday life, whilst delivered with such ease and finesse. Along with the interlude of vocal “ahhhhh” and stream of illuminating riffs, “The Glittering Prize” shines with that quintessential post-punk sound, which is likened to the band Television, whilst remaining true to its garage roots.

3) With it’s Bowie-esque and stomping riffs, “World of Pauline Lewis”, is a duality of upbeat post-punk and oblique poignancy. It’s a brilliant track with daydreams in the shadows, whose narrative and translucent riffs air-bubbles like a teenage comic strip, aside the feverish beats.

4) “A Family Affair” is a sombre track, whose ghostly vocals glide against the sluggish bass. Along with the translucent jangles, “A Family Affair” slumbers in the doldrums and is awakened by the subconscious narrative. Along with the eerie “ahhhhh” and piano infused outro, “A Family Affair” is steeped in melancholy, whilst quietly going insane.

5) With the Spanish-esque acoustics and uptempo riffs, “Silly Girl” strips away the gloss and goes straight for the jugular. It’s a succinct, idiosyncratic, head spinning song, whose spectral backing vocals hovers, mocks and spies from its sarcastic, subconscious mind.

6) Through the illuminate and vocal narrative, “Diary of a Young Man” drifts deep down into the introspective mind of Treacy, creating a surreal, sub-conscious ambience. It’s a great track, whose gentle jangles and sombre bass provide the wistful backdrop for Treacy’s free-spirited, meditative,  “lalalalaa”.

7) “Geoffrey Ingram” jangles with a sprightly charm, and its mandolin-esque riffs illuminate and bounce down its Happy Go Lucky path. It’s an infectious track whose jaunty bass and vocal delivery synchronises with the wry observations, captured in the lyrics. Along with the dual vocals, “Geoffrey Ingram”, evokes a sense of solidarity and a “us and them” disposition.

Side 2

1) “I know where Syd Barrett Lives” is a neo-psychedelic folk song, which captures the child-like wonder and youthful aspirations of Treacy. It’s a beautifully crafted song, whose customised fluttering birds and signature “ahhhh’s” takes you out of the conscious into the a world of surrealism and self-efficating humour and animation. It’s a place which, like many songs from this album, resides in a place where hopes, inspirations and dreams provide the life-line for a generation frustrated by the general status quo.

2) “Jackanory Stories” illustrates Treacy’s ingenious skill at translating angst in the most child-like and endearing manner. A master of urban poetry, Treacy is very much the under-rated song-writer, keeping it real whilst adding a dose of existential mind fog. Through the up-tempo riffs and rumbling beats, “Jackanory Stories”, throbs with an uncompromising post-punk spirit, whilst the glistening guitars, trail across the pop-up pages, aside the dual voices towards a faraway place.

3) “Parties in Chelsea” does what it says on the tin and offers a youthful narrative on “Parties in Chelsea”. It’s a idiosyncratic track where post-punk lets down its hair and has a few stomps about in the mod-pit, aside the tribal beats.

4) “La Grande Illusion” is an amazing song, whose gothsbilly, garage riffs slants and slithers underground through luminescence fog, battling its sorrows in dark solitary confinement. Along with the new wave bass and beats, “La Grande Illusion”, is reminiscent of the explosive sounds of the new wave punk scene of the late 70s, whilst remaining unique and adding a noir-esque cinematic motif.

5) “A Picture of Dorian Gray” is a heart-warming, post-punk track, whose aspirational lyrics pull at the strings and whose sentiments become animated through Treacy’s raw tones. It’s simultaneously up-beat and whose  simplistic strumming coincides with the youthful idealism and boyish charm of Treacy. Along with the incandescent riffs, “A Picture of Dorian Gray” beams with optimism, whilst watching the shooting and colliding stars, refusing to “grow old and horrible and dreadful, But this picture will remain always young, it will never be older than this particular day of June…”

 

6) “The Crying Room” is an exquisite track, whose stream of tinkering riffs, rotate in unison like a mechanical water pump, whilst floating off in separate directions. A poignant folk song, “A Crying Room” is a visceral gem, whose vocal free, harmonica infused riffs, create a wistful, melancholic motif.

7) “Look Back in Anger” is a fantastic track, whose dexterous strumming, shrieks and slam crash with the gentlest of grenades. Through the boyish vocals of Treacy, “Look Back In Anger” is Post- Punk’s finest whose vulnerability  and melancholy diffuses any aggression, whilst filtering out the rawest of emotions. With the title taken from the kitchen–sink play by John Osborne, “Look Back In Anger” evokes the grit and harshness of everyday life, whilst producing an uncompromising signature tune that is forever etched in every punk’s psyche.