You walk in straight lines
June Brides were a very short-lived band that nonetheless has managed to grab a foothold of some sort in musical history. In 2006 a tribute album called “Still Unravished” appeared, with our heroes appearing on it to cover the opener of the only album June Brides ever released, The Instrumental. Which, unlike the name suggests, isn’t actually an instrumental – the lyrics are short, brief and infrequent but they’re still there popping up at exactly the right places.
There isn’t much musical difference between the original and the Manics cover. The song stays essentially the same but with 80’s production values changed into Manics’ Lifeblood-style sheen. The song’s driven by its insistent bass riff and backed by an array of frantic guitar lines and chiming keyboard mats. The big difference is that where the original features a trumpet as its main melodic lead during the bridges (or verses or whatever you can call the parts between the lyrical sections), Manics choose to ignore that despite having a very capable trumpet player in their use – so most likely either Sean couldn’t be arsed to do it or thought it was too easy as a cover if they directly lifted that as well – and in its place you can find a freezing cold piano with a vaguely 80’s kind of sound. It gives the song some additional eeriness.
And eeriness is what the whole tune is about really, at least the Manics cover. On top of the already high atmospherics and the frantic guitar/bass work, you’ve got all the keyboard flourishes and punched-out pianos. It’s like an emotionally cold, stalkery brother of Lifeblood’s cold-surface-soft-exterior pop approach. The lyrics add to it – they’re very brief and rather vague, but their almost dismissive tone that’s almost as if to laugh at the subject of the song and the way the short four-line lyrics pop up out of thin air give them an additional force of impact.
One of those cases where you kinda wish the cover was an original by the band just because.