Businessmen & Ghosts


It was just about one year ago from today when I first heard of the Manchester quartet Working For A Nuclear Free City. As a music fan who has spent many hours embracing the sounds of the Madchester music scene, wishing I could have visited the coveted holy land of the Hacienda before it was demolished, I was immediately smitten by WFANFC's eponymous debut album. Of course, there is much more to the band's sound than just great beats and fat bass lines, as Phil Kay and his mates cover ground ranging from the Beta Band to the Stone Roses.

Their US debut, Businessmen & Ghosts, is a tough one to condense down to one review. With two discs and a total of twenty-nine tracks, there is quite a bit of material to absorb. Even though it is a bit lengthy, what amazed me is how well it all works, and the fact that there is not a single dud on the entire disc. WFANFC is about both quantity and quality.

On the dancefloor side of their musical spectrum, "Troubled Son" is a big beat a la Chemical Brothers jam that should send any dancefloor into a frenzy. Where this album truly shines is on the more layered tracks such as "Rocket." While the cool beats remain, more of the focus is on the expansive layers that build throughout the nearly five minutes of this song. Artists such as Beta Band and Doves come to mind, but even more atmospheric yet still beat driven. It is fookin' brilliant.

On the Ghosts disc, WFANFC offers up the epic "Asleep At The Wheel." By far one of the best songs of the year, this instrumental is huge, with crashing drums provided by John Kay and the rolling guitar lines of Gary Mclure keeping the pulse as this song expands and soars into outerspace. I can't even imagine how massive this must sound live, and I hope that the lads will come over to our side of the pond at some point.

I could honestly go on for paragraph after paragraph on Businessmen & Ghosts. As their songs shift from noisy shoegaze to cinematic beauty to Madchester beats, we're taken on one hell of a ride. The fellas in Working For A Nuclear Free City have been able to absorb the musical inspirations from the years and years of groundbreaking Manchester influences and have harnessed them into something very special. This band should be fucking huge.

"Quiet Place"

Working For A Nuclear Free CIty
Deaf Dumb & Blind Recordings

Businessmen & Ghosts