1. More Troubles
2. We Should Never Have Children
3. The Getaway
5. You Try Sober
6. Body In A Car
8. One Blunt Knife
10. Something To Bang
London’s Absentee release their first full-length album on the 8th May 2006 on the Memphis Industries label.
‘Schmotime’, recorded at The Premises Studios in Bethnal Green with producer James Ford (Mystery Jets, Arctic Monkeys, Testicicles), features eleven brand new tracks and includes the forthcoming single ‘Something To Bang’ which is released on March the 6th.
The new album, the follow up to last year’ s mini album debut ‘Donkey Stock’, suggests a meeting point between Gainsbourg’s ‘Melody Nelson’ and Reed’s ‘Transformer’ capturing as it does the frustrations of love, sex, life and death. Wandering guitar lines and humorous metaphors are matched with instant melodies and acute observation; the result is a record that matures and resonates with every listen. Take for example upcoming single ‘We Should Never Have Children’, as lyricist Dan Michaelson puts it; “It tells the story of a drunken romance between two unsuited people, the ugliness of their affair (both physically and mentally) and the slowly realised responsibility shared between two adults for what they might produce, (“Oh darling, you’re no oil painting and I’m no Michael Angelo, no, no. So darling we should never have children, it would be one in a million ugly swine’s – a son of mine”). While new single ‘Something To Bang’ is an unholy brew of fuzz guitars, riffing brass, tinny organs and pummelling drums, lyrically it’s a neat encapsulation of man’s need to procreate, or, as Dan puts it how “I’m tired of being man, always something to bang, working up a sweat, it’s bringing out the worst in me”. Saving the best till last, Absentee show their sensitive side on the album’s closer, the epic ‘Treacle’, as Michaelson purrs “was that treacle on your lips that made me stick with you, a very playful trick of the light that makes you beautiful to me?” before finally declaring that “love, you get sweeter every day”. The end of the album, a shard of light.
The current line up of Dan Michaelson (vocals/guitar), Melinda Bronstein (vocals, keyboards, melodica, glockenspiel), Babak Ganjei (guitar/lap steel), Laurie Earle (bass) and Jon Chandler (drums), was cemented a week before their first UK tour in November 2004. After a fairly ramshackle year together writing and supporting the likes of The Magic Numbers, The Go! Team and Architecture in Helsinki, the group made many friends and supporters in the pop world and eventually decided to sign to the like-minded souls at Memphis Industries. In the summer of 2005, Absentee released ‘Donkey Stock’ their first limited release on Memphis Industries. The six-track mini-album was a rich debut that told tales of love gone sour and awkward sex and dully sold out. The NME said about the release: ‘these songs make each hair on the back of your neck shiver like leaves in the wind.’ before promptly placing it at number 28 in their albums of the year.