Galway quartet – THE CLOCKWORKS – release: ‘Can I Speak to A Manager?’. The single is the latest to be released on Alan McGee’s Creation 23 label. Surfing on a wave of essential guitar bands coming out of Ireland right now – the band deliver an incisive and incensed cut of agitated alt-rock on this latest outing.
Written in 2018 while the band were still living in their hometown of Galway, The Clockworks’ James McGregor found himself taking refuge from the drudgery of his 9-5 in a number of café’s and pubs during his lunch break. Infuriated by the plastic world around him and nauseous with the monotony of a rat-run routine, his paranoid thoughts and pent-up rage spilled into a song that dares to point out the failings of an ailing society.
Inspired by the straight-up social commentary of lyrical icons like John Cooper Clarke, Mike Skinner, and Ray Davies of The Kinks, Can I Speak To Manager?’ sees McGregor exercising his songwriting abilities with a similar no-nonsense and observational approach.
Frenzied in its vivid frustration and littered with references of the every day, ‘Can I Speak…’ is a bile spattered monologue that spirals out of control and ignited by the purchase of a faulty laptop. From the exasperating experience of telephone customer service to the financial pressures and propaganda of living in a broken system, McGregor lets it all out on a tirade that is at once relatable and relentless, humorous and hard-hitting.
“Musically I think it is one of the starkest and darkest tracks that we have” says McGregor. “In essence, it’s a simple story of getting a dodgy laptop and having no luck on the phone to the company who sold it. Without the “fast-food distraction” factor I hoped the laptop would provide, I looked around for something else to do and found nothing. Nothing on TV, nothing in the fridge, showering for some purpose….Spending money to try and buy some purpose just makes me more cynical…I wanted to sort of drill in the phrase “Can I speak to a Manager?” to get a feeling that everywhere I look, that question is there.”
Listen to ‘Can I Speak to A Manager?’ – BELOW:
Matched with an insistent, infectious score in the vein of The Cribs, Idles or Shame, its barbed art-punk riffs and pneumatic rhythms coalesce into a single that smacks between the eyes with exhilarating intent.