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Johnny Marr



The bad news first: this successor to 2014’s Playland at times lacks deeper lyrical substance; but we turn to Johnny Marr for music, not enlightenment, and fortunately, Call The Comet’s greatest pleasure is in how – with his flamboyant former bandmate wrapping The Smiths’ legacy like soggy chips in rightwing tabloids – Marr seems driven to reclaim their musical past before it’s irreversibly soiled. Consequently, nostalgic flourishes – the Queen Is Dead ferocity of The Tracers and Actor Attractor’s distant echoes of How Soon Is Now – dominate this absorbing collection. Indeed, at times, as on Hi Hello – which is not only brim-full of the jangling guitars that made Marr a hero, but also finds him whooping and moaning like the arch-miserablist himself – it almost feels like revenge. But Call The Comet never depends upon reminders of history. It merely utilises, then transcends them, as proven by the unexpectedly playful, anthemic Bug, or Walk Into The Sea, its naked piano chords and trebly guitar melody swelling into a howling wall of guitars; Marr’s lyrics – eloquently poetic – are recited like he’s The Blue Aeroplanes’ Gerard Langley. Morrissey may be trying to murder The Smiths’ reputation, but Marr hasn’t sounded this alive in years.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Long Live Vinyl - Jul-18
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