Dance beats that sound like they were concocted in a pharmacy, breasts sprouting from nowhere, hooking for fun (and profit)—guess elder statesman of musical decadence Shaun Ryder felt that he needed to show those Last Night’s Party whippersnappers how to engage in excess the right way.
The Happy Mondays’ festival-borne comeback a couple of years ago not only spawned an onstage meeting of the minds between lead Monday Shaun Ryder and the ever-noxious Mickey Avalon—it resulted in some new Mondays music. Talk about your mixed blessings! (Bez-sings?) Take “Jelly Bean,” a five-minutes-and-change slog in which Ryder, over a haze of synths and moaning backing vocals, bellows about being set free by his unleashed femininity and getting grass stuck in uncomfortable places. It’s one of those songs that just keeps going and going, with Ryder yelling “NOW THAT I AM NAKED I’M A LADY” over and over again until everyone blacks out. (Or decides to put on their Ozzy Osbourne albums, what with him determinedly repeating the term “crazy babies” in such a way that makes one wonder if he had secret hopes for Zakk Wylde to add his guitar licks to this song’s mess of layered tracks.)
“I make some mistakes, man,” Ryder intones when the thing finally, mercifully wheezes to a close. Well, yes, Shaun. But at least somewhere in the chemically ravaged husk that is your cranium, you had enough presence of mind to put an intermission in the middle, so we could all take a breather?