If you think about it, Malcolm Middleton and visual artist David Shrigley are quite natural bedfellows, for both men seem to look at life with a darkly twisted humour. While you’ll likely be familiar with Middleton’s music, Shrigley is probably best known for his mordantly humorous cartoons released in postcard packs, although he does have a history of collaborating with musicians, having directed videos for the likes of Blur and Will Oldham.

The opening track of this particular collaboration, which sees the Falkirk indie veteran provide the musical backdrop to Shrigley’s spoken word lyrics, is the hilariously misanthropic ‘A Toast’. It begins with the frankly unforgettable opening line “Greetings. And good fucking wishes to you and your fuckhead arsehole family”, and continues in a similarly black-hearted vein. Elsewhere ‘Dear Brain’ is a poignant piano-accompanied prayer to the narrator’s own grey matter, bemoaning the pointless things we as humans say and do.

Lyrically, each and every track is pretty compelling; either amusing, or thought provoking, or entertainingly surreal. The problem is that the musical accompaniment to all this interesting lyricism is generally fairly pedestrian, being (aside from one or two tracks) mostly generic beats strung together, or unremarkable guitar laments. ‘Music and Words’ is probably unique in that it’s absolutely compulsive listening, but for one listen only.


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