LINER NOTES for BLOODSHOT (by Brian Smith)
WHEN IT RAINS
The starting point of this song was a practice where Bruce & Mike got locked into a violent bass and drum tussle that eventually became the verses of this song. The next development was when I was walking down Oxford Street on a cold, grey, winter afternoon just before Christmas, and the words ‘gallery of grotesquerie’ sprang to mind. The narrator is a cowardly mix of Pinkie from Brighton Rock and Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver (inspiring the (misappropriated) title).
Just about the oldest MINX song that there is - inspired by some half-heard background music seeping out of a strip club in Japan. The chords are ‘Lay Lady Lay’ played wrong.
FLESH BLOOD & BOTTLE This is the only song like this by MINX - a gift from the god of dreams. I woke up in the middle of the night and, before the memories evaporated, scurried into the toilet with my dictophone (so as not to wake the family) to record the two bits of melody that became ‘The world would be so nice...’ and ‘They made me do things I never wanted to...’ This song took a lot of work to work out and we can still get it wrong now if we try hard enough. The lyrics are tenuously inspired by John Lydon’s descriptions of Malcolm Maclaren.
A love letter to the Ramones, written just after Joey Ramone died. Shame that it took the death of 3 of them before journalists stopped playing follow-my-leader and saying that they were shit. Now all they have to do is to think for themselves and realise what a great LP ‘End of the Century’ is.
Next door to the house where my cousin Dave used to live there was an overgrown, lifeless house where a widow lived alone. I only ever saw her whenever we had to retrieve a ball or a plane from the weeds that had strangled her garden - peering out from an unlit sitting room. At least, that’s how I remember it. She was probably really lovely to Dave - gave him pocket money and sweets and took him to Chessington Zoo - but I hope not. I did my utmost to wreck all the mood and the beauty of the song with a crap punchline at the end of it.
HOW TO GET ON IN LIFE
This song never really sounded very satisfying until we ﬁnally recorded it. One of many songs that came out of a weekend getaway that we spent practising by the seaside in Chiba. Not one of my favourite lyrics, but I love the music - especially the accordion bit in the middle.
Another difﬁcult birth - I hope we succeeded in covering up how hard this song proved to create. I was wondering what it was like for the actors who had to get up early after a groovy night out and then dress up in the Banana Splits costumes. Also slightly inspired by (1) the knowledge that the Banana Splits drummer went on to join Sly and the Family Stone and (2) the stupendous piano arrangements of Abba.
This was pretty much written and recorded in one evening, and I believe that we were all sitting down when we played it. As usual, I unselﬁshly let Mike play the guitar solo and get the glory. What a guy I am. Not uninspired by the passing of Ian Dury.
The femme fatale of this song is the bitch offspring of the desperado in When it Rains, and the tragic Ruby - all rolled up into a good-time-gal gone bad. The starting melody/riff and the jerky bits were Mike’s ideas, and skifﬂy drumming bit was Bruce’s. The coda at the end is supposed to make you feel that a brighter day can always be just around the corner.
1. WHAT IS MINX?
MINX are a Anglo-American-Japanese band that play noisy pop music. The heart of MINX lies in a sunny Victorian side street in a murky corner of London. While there is something for music lovers of all persuasion in MINX’s cornucopia of songs, admirers of groups such as Madness, Supergrass, XTC, the Kinks and The Raconteurs might be better rewarded than others.
“As always, Minx’s bittersweet meditations on humbly lived lives rock with a barely concealed abandon.” - METROPOLIS (Tokyo)
“These synth punks are sharp-suited dudes who make suave snappy sounds. They’re kind of like a new romantic Hives. Just imagine how ace that is.” - NME (London)
2. WHO ARE MINX?
MINX are fronted by singer, guitarist & chief songwriter, Brian Smith. A casualty of the Brit-Pop wave of the early nineties (apparently the only musician of the time too ugly to get any groupies), Brian’s lack of success with his former band, Family Gotown (in spite of their sharing the stage with such luminaries as Blur & Snuff) seemed only to whet his appetite for creating even more idiosyncratic music. On the MINX bass, and a contributor to the MINX sound since its inception, is Michael James Walter Rayner. As well as being the bedrock of MINX’s live sound, Michael also plays all the difﬁcult guitar parts in the studio. On the trumpet, Shawn Larson delivers MINX’s trademark hooks with gusto and aplomb. While not employed in the former task, Shawn dances uncontrollably to the delight of all onlookers. Any sophistication in MINX’s sound owes much to the keyboard contributions of Ali Campbell, whose piano, organ & rhodes riffs add further dashes of colour to the MINX’s sound. The keeping of the MINX beat has recently been handed over from Bruce Howell to MINX’s newest recruit, Keizo Matsushima. (Bruce, MINX's drummer since the beginning, bashes the skins on BLOODSHOT.)
Formed in 1996, MINX have previously released 2 full-length albums, SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND and MARVELLOUS MINX, both available on CD.
4. BLOODSHOT - THE NEW MINX CD
MINX release their newest album, BLOODSHOT, in 2007. The featured nine songs continue their thorough exploration of the aural & emotional gamut... SHUDDER at the driving force of WHEN IT RAINS... CHEER at the sheer jubilance of FLESH, BLOOD & BOTTLE... WONDER at the mysteries of RUBY... SOB at the pathos of CARE...
Recorded over a protracted period of time, BLOODSHOT justiﬁes the ﬁve years of radio silence since their last release, MARVELLOUS MINX. While darker in tone than its predecessor, BLOODSHOT endeavours to transport the listener to an even deeper recess of the world MINX inhabit.