Twenty Years? Twenty. Flippin’. Years! That’s how long it has been since Modesty Blaise’s previous album, Melancholia. Thankfully, they are back and ahead of this new slice of sonic goodness, they have unleashed Girls Just Wanna Dance to forage ahead and test the water. But it is safe to say that this release probably has an easier job than most singles, in that it is an established, live set closure and favourite with fans who have long called for it to be sonically laid down for prosperity.
Frontman and songwriter Jonny Collins, revels in the idea of a short, sharp and shockingly addictive song, “Melody, arrangement and countermelodies… The 3-minute pop single is, I’d contest, the summit of great art. It is timeless, and we consistently get it wrong, confusing art with commerce.” But I would counter that with the fact that this perfectly poised piece of pop is both artful and likely to tick the commercial box too, it is just that the latter concern is obviously the added bonus rather than the raison d’etre.
Vibing with the musical style of the likes of Pulp, XTC or The Divine Comedy, Girls... is a wonderful piece of chamber pop, leaning more towards old-time music hall than the hip indie kid but it is just such a willful disdain for fad and fashion which is its inherent charm.