Review: Tingle in the Netherlands - Why Can't You Write Something Nice for a Change?

Nerve Echo (CD & download)

Songs about a dead prosititute and her handbag, a housewife screwing the milkman and love in outer space, it could only be the debut album from Manchester's Tingle in the Netherlands.

Formed as an "absurdist electro-pop collaboration" between poet Helên Thomas and electronic-musician Owen J back in 2008, Tingle in the Netherlands have been steadily gathering a healthy fan-base over the past five years.  After much waiting their debut album is finally here and it really has been worth the wait.

Album opener, 'Prostitute's Handbag', is a song that will be familiar with many readers of this site after its appearance in the top ten of our Festive Fifty in 2010.  It's a humorous yet tragic number, in which Helên laments the life of the whore's fashion accessory through her life and death.  It does, however, have the best use of the word vagina in pop music ever: 'Prostitute's handbag, made in China; Prostitute's handbag, bought with vagina'.

'A Forest of Cock', previously available on the Prostitute's Handbag EP, sees Owen recite a series of nonsensical myspace status updates and random lines of poetry over an electronic backdrop.  The absurdity continues on 'Astronaut Love Triangle' before one of the album's real highlights 'The Housewife's Lament' - a song about a housewife becoming fed up with her lousy abusive husband and instead taking to "shagging the milkman".  It's another demonstration of how good Helên really is with words.

'Mammals' is a hilarious track penned by Owen.  The mammals in question are in fact humans, astronauts, police officers, lawyers et al.   Owen reels off witty a list, filled with dry humour, for example: "The pontiff has 300 teeth and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour".

There are some fine modern disco classics on display here too in the shape of 'Girlie Disco One', 'I Lost My Heart to a Starship Cleaner', and the awesome 'She's No Lady'.  All of which are heavily synth-laden and guaranteed to get you on your feet.

Tingle in the Netherlands have certainly struck gold here with an album that is a real electro-pop sensation(!) and one that will garner the duo many new fans.

Key song: She's No Lady


Rik Wolters

25th February 2013

Rik is a band promoter, music writer, musician and DJ based in Edinburgh, UK.  The Sound Project was formed by Rik...

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