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Failure is Inevitable

by Spray

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about

British synth band and self-styled indiepop chameleons Spray have announced their fifth studio album, Failure Is Inevitable, for 2019.
Founded in 2001, Spray is comprised of Ricardo Autobahn (synthesizers) and Jenny McLaren (vocals, guitars), both formerly of The Cuban Boys, who took their chaotic technopunk to No. 1 on the Festive 50 (twice), recorded one of the best Peel Sessions ever and went head-to-head with Sir Cliff Richard in a Christmas Chart Battle (but ultimately lost).

Their hit single Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (a.k.a. The Hamster Dance Song) sold a million copies, reached No. 4 in the UK single charts, landed them on Top of the Pops and, in the words of John Peel, was “the most requested song I’ve had since God Save The Queen.

In a list presented by RockListMusic.co.uk, the Cuban Boys registered as the 30th most popular band in the history of the John Peel Show, ranking ahead of the Inspiral Carpets (31), The Cure (34), Nirvana and The Stone Roses (tied at 35).

BBC producer Mike Engles selected the Cuban Boys' first Peel Session as one of his top 10 all-time favourites, alongside Nirvana, The Damned and Ivor Cutler.

Following the demise of the Cuban Boys, Autobahn and McLaren formed Spray, turning their attentions toward synthpop and releasing their debut album Living In Neon in 2002 on U.S. indie label Ninthwave Media.

This was followed by Children Of A Laser God in 2006, which included their smash cover of Lisa Lougheed's Run With Us (known to most of us as 'The Raccoons' theme song).

Spray was the secret weapon behind the UK's 2006 Eurovision song for Daz Sampson Teenage Life, having written and produced it, as well as singing the treated vocals for that track.

Ricardo Autobahn and Daz Sampson would also collaborate on a dance version of Rhinestone Cowboy under the name Rikki and Daz, recording it with the legendary Glen Campbell himself and filming its expensive video in the Arizona desert. This track went top 10.

Spray also recorded a novelty track as the Barndance Boys called Yippie I Oh, which became a top 30 hit. Under the moniker The Attery Squash, Ricardo's track Devo Was Right About Everything was remixed by Devo themselves. More recently, Spray have been recording music with anarchic BBC star Hacker T. Dog.

Ricardo Autobahn writes music for TV and radio, which can be heard from BBC4 to ITV2 and from Australia to the USA. He also plays keyboards with Welsh punk pop legends Helen Love, also known for their collaboration with Joey Ramone.

Throughout all of this, Spray have continued to record their verbose off-kilter indie-disco synthpop. In 2018 they undertook their first live shows and released the single Anthologised By Cherry Red, which also features on the upcoming album. Reaching number 5 on the 2018 Festive 50 and being voted 'Record Of The Year' by Radio Six International, the song reflects the band’s archetypal sound – a celebration-of-all-things-pop tinged with cynicism, despair and the band’s ironic humour.

Sixteen tracks of feel-good pop, dry wit, acerbic irony and a not-so-nostalgic look at the past, it’s sure to please their ever-increasing army of fans as well as those who like a bit of social commentary with their upbeat electronica.

Failure Is Inevitable will be released via Manchester label AnalogueTrash on the 17th of May 2019, with an intimate album launch show scheduled for on the 31st of May at the iconic Castle Hotel in the city’s Northern Quarter.

credits

released May 17, 2019

Composed, performed and produced by Spray
Spray performed by Jenny McLaren and Ricardo Autobahn
Mixed by Morgan Lorentz
Additional vocals by Phil Fletcher
Artwork by Jack of Arts

Thanks go, in a strictly random order, to Rob, Carol, Terri, Rachel, Gareth, Stuart, Charlie, Matt, Phil, Lucy, Jonathan, Liam, Stefan, Paul, Nathan, Helen, Sheena, Skreen, Blu, Dickie, everybody we've met on the road, Hacker, all at AnalogueTrash and anybody else who knows us. And Mark and Louise, who also know us.

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about

Spray Lancashire, UK

Ric and Jen were members of 21st century pop terrorists The Cuban Boys, who topped John Peel's Festive 50 and the UK singles charts.

Their offshoot project Spray predicted the electropop boom, unfortunately much too early for them to cash in. They released two albums in 2002 and 2006.

In 2016 they released their first full length studio album in 10 years - 'Enforced Fun'.
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Track Name: Here's One from the New Album
And as the curtain falls, so the expectation rises
But expectation has a habit of nasty surprises
And so the curtain falls and wide-eyed optimism greets you
And though a pang of conscience flutters by you still continue
With that one phrase to make the world seem that little bit starker
There's just one phrase to make the evening go that little bit darker
Six words to test commitment from your resolute disciples...
"Here's one from the new album"
Track Name: Astronomical
Question to the panel tell me
If there's irony within
Asking for a friend please tell me
Where does enterprise begin?
When we know it sells - we sell it
But we can't say how or why
Everybody's on the uptake
Got my money in my pocket, but my pocket's on fire

I'm with the brand, so stick to the plan
We're doing the impossible - going astronomical
Though we are damned it's beautifully planned
So ideological going astronomical
I'm with the brand and I understand
That we are now unstoppable, going astronomical
I'm with the brand, programmed and offhand now
Living fibre-optical, going astronomical

Kneel before my soul and vision
Kneel before integrity
All the snobbishness is taken
All the good stuff anyway
Sometimes all you want is respect
But then on the other hand
Credibility is trumped by
A hit for the performing-arts-college-grad's band

I'm with the brand, so stick to the plan
We're doing the impossible - going astronomical
Though we are damned it's beautifully planned
So ideological going astronomical
I'm with the brand and I understand
That we are now unstoppable, going astronomical
I'm with the brand, programmed and offhand now
Living fibre-optical, going astronomical

Watch out The Beatles!
That is a band I've definitely heard of - I can quote them offhand
I've got authentic T-shirts, I got the tunes
And I can nod solemnly discussing U2

Selling the vibe we're selling the hype
We don't know what we've done but we've sure gone astronomical
Selling the band is selling the brand but
Keep it up we really love going astronomical

I'm with the brand, so stick to the plan
We're doing the impossible - going astronomical
Though we are damned it's beautifully planned
So ideological going astronomical
I'm with the brand and I understand
That we are now unstoppable, going astronomical
I'm with the brand, programmed and offhand now
Living fibre-optical, going astronomical
Track Name: We Gotta Get Haircuts
Someone said we're stuck in past - a nostalgia act
Yes we know, it was us
Always been kinda bourgeoisy - if not musically
And we played to our strengths
Oh the effort to change our sound for a younger crowd
That might give us away
There must be a solution served
To refresh our oeuvre in an underhanded way

We gotta get haircuts
We can masquerade as young renegades with a haircut
Oh we gotta get haircuts
Perceptions change for a tiny outlay with a haircut

On the wall scheduled for Q4, radio's onboard
Gotta tap into it
Got the sheen of a drum machine - it's the sound of teens
Yet nobody's impressed
Can't keep up with the younger trends, how they change and bend
We do try to be cool
Marketing saying "you look the part then the content of art gets the benefit of doubt"

We gotta get haircuts
We can tap into the culture of youth with a haircut
Oh we gotta get haircuts
We can show that we have relevancy with a haircut

Oh haircuts

Oh we gotta get haircuts
Down the ages the music don't change - just the haircuts
Oh we gotta get haircuts
Every comeback relies on the fact that they got haircuts
Track Name: Anthologised by Cherry Red
Once I was crucified now I’m dead set
I’ve been anthologised by Cherry Red
By Cherry Red

I had some minor hits and cult success
I was told I’d be reissued under duress
And then you go from super-austere to super-deluxe overnight
On Record Store Day you get an overpriced picture disc– alright!

I’m being euthanized though I’m not dead
I’m being anthologised by Cherry Red
I have been recognised and now I’m set
Now I’m anthologised by Cherry Red

Once I was done over by the NME
All now reprinted and given out for free
Gary Crowley liner notes and a play from Guy Garvey
They’re gonna be sniffing around for me to play Glastonbury

Oh I’ve been stigmatised and left for dead
I’m being anthologised by Cherry Red
I am revitalised full steam ahead
I’ve been anthologised by Cherry Red

Once I was crucified now I’m dead set
I’m being anthologised by Cherry Red
For all I symbolized I was no threat
Til I was anthologised by Cherry Red

Cherry Red, Cherry Red

I’m being euthanized though I’m not dead
I’m being anthologised by Cherry Red
I have been recognised and now I’m set
Now I’m anthologised by Cherry Red
Track Name: Chump (For My Love)
The fact you value still spending time with me
Reflects quite badly on you
I’ll spell it out in terms you understand
Profound to simpletons too

You’re an idiot
You’re an idiot loving me
All this knuckleheaded tomfoolery
Must cease

I never had an emotional response
That tugged the strings of my heart
I’ve never once empathized or understood
I just don’t care, or I can’t

You’re an idiot
You’re an idiot loving me
My contempt for you is proportional
To esteem
Idiot
You’re an idiot loving me
I am so transparent yet you can’t see
Through me

Hey come here clownshoes, and rest your weary head
It doesn’t mean that we’re through
We have to accept you’re too good for me
Or am I too good for you?

You’re an idiot
You’re an idiot loving me
As respect increases the less I think
Of thee
Idiot
You’re an idiot loving me
I could never love anybody who
Loves me
Track Name: Waiting for The Boom
Killin’ time in airports
Waitin’ for the install
Office on the third floor
We hope and strive
Taken over en masse even though they never asked
Etiquette impasse
It’s where we thrive

History has shown the future is foretold and
Everything else is a distraction
Everybody knows how the sequence goes
Action! Reaction! Transaction! Inaction!

Waiting for the boom
Waiting for the boom boom

Corporate away day
Justifying payday
Stalemate and stagnate
Oh, this will do!
Hubris and arrogance
Living in deference
Casual indifference will see us through

Everybody’s goal is written on the wall
In the form of motivational posters
Epigram advice will help us work through life but
Not if you overanalyse them

Waiting for the boom
Waiting for the boom boom

Standing where we are still gettin’ what we want
Standing where we are still gettin’ what we want
Standing where we are still gettin’ what we want
Standing where we are still gettin’ what we want

Bureaucratic tangles
Systematic shambles
Summertime scandals
Yet here we are
Overprotective of the mission objective
Completely lost perspective
Still here we are

Keep on keeping on then keep on keeping on (keep on)
Everything will surely be sorted
Everybody knows how the sequence goes
Courted, supported, aborted, deported

Waiting for the boom
Waiting for the boom boom
Track Name: You Had Me at 'Easily Pleased'
I spent my life searching for
The guy from songs billed as "the one"
At some point objectives change
Downgrade "guarantee" to "bail-out"
A cursory dancefloor assessment
A perfunctory glance through the lights
Oh none of them seem too discerning to me
So the dice say it's your lucky night

Because
I'm gonna settle for you tonight
I suppose that you'll do
Suppose that you'll do

Accept Mr Perfect and this guy look the same with the lights out
Aspire to normality - a much more attainable prospect
So print out a checklist and scoreboard
You can go through life ticking them off
Each end of the scale's a morality tale
Whatever you do will be wrong

It means that
I'm gonna settle for you tonight
I suppose that you'll do
Suppose that you'll do

I'm gonna settle, babe
I'm on your level, babe
You're intermediate, I'm intermediate
We're both indifferent and insignificant
Passable, yet unexceptional

I'm gonna settle for you tonight
I suppose that you'll do
Suppose that you'll do
Track Name: Futuristic
Hey where’s my jetpack, we laugh and say “how droll!”
But then we all go quiet cos that’s not what we were sold
Though the future we were promised was dystopian and cursed
The present that we live in is arguably worse
The planet has died and everyone sucks
It’s misery and pain from dawn to dusk
Pretty much dictionary definition futuristic
It couldn’t be more futuristic

No, not this future, this isn’t what I meant
I wanted one all dressed in white with neon circus tents
One where all disease was just a distant memory
And everybody floated round in blissful ecstacy, where
We’d seen to the end of the bourgeoisie
With every class deleted, no hierarchy
But that is never ever what was meant by futuristic
That’s the opposite of futuristic

John Foxx in his car
John Foxx in his car
John Foxx in his car
John Foxx in his car
John Foxx in his car
John Foxx in his car

The future: exactly like the past but in extreme
Politicians propping up old crumbling regimes
We’ve somehow got this far and yet we still haven’t matured
Past bigotry and jealousy, tradition and nerves
The brave new world is old school shill
Nothing’s changed and nothing will
This it seems is what was meant by futuristic
It’s totally futuristic
Track Name: The Interlude
Interlude
Interlude
Interlude
This is the interlude
Oh this is the interlude
This is the interlude
For you
It's the interlude
Enjoy the interlude
Interlude
Track Name: Bluff It Again
Bluff it again, bluff it again
Gettin’ through the day with generic pet names
Answer all questions with a counterclaim
Bluff it again, bluff it again

Bluff it again, bluff it again
I googled what I could from the public domain
Then I sneezed in my cocaine
Bluff it again, bluff it again

The only way I’m ever gonna get through this
Point and say “Hey, look, it’s Elvis”
Nod and say “Oh yeah, I gets it”
Breathing space for a very sharp exit
Nevertheless when you’re this mediocre
And you find you are living as an “interloper”
Never should have printed that diploma
Very heavy load for a born freeloader

Bluff it again, bluff it again
Can somebody fly this aeroplane?
Let me check the manual, I’ll check it again
My secret is safe - a dodge and a feint

Bluff it again, bluff it again
Stand at the back and smile and say
“Let’s hear from the rest, it’s democracy”
The method in place to bluff it again

This strategy for life is a strategy proven
Through the ages to the same conclusion
Ultimately nobody gives any contribution
Competence and intellect are just an illusion
Society evolved a solution to failure
Everybody carried on the shoulders of their neighbours
At the bottom of the pyramid a similar behaviour
Coming up the other way to do you a favour

Bluff it again, bluff it again
Dress like the others and never complain
Always agree and make sure you cave
You’ll always be safe if you concede the game
Track Name: Get a Load of This Guy
He’ll take time to explain mansplaining
I’ll play it thick so that he can still keep up
Plays the victim cos he’s who suffers here
Can’t breath for laughing
I’m feigning death again
He thinks he’s got

Bitchin’ conviction mid-life (Still thinks it’s rebellion)
Get a load of this guy
Bitter and terrified (Bring the feminazis on)
Get a load of this guy

Shouting louder will make them listen
Shakin’ up the system though he’s already won
Actually believes that his truthbomb
Too hot to touch without gloves on
Those ideas
Been done before

Loneliest hipster sells out (Internet connected fear)
Get a load of this guy
Tenuous grasp on power (Getting ever looser now)
Get a load of this guy
Not one original thought (Reach for mediocrity)
Get a load of this guy
Radical ideas but (written by a Twitter bot)
Get a load of this guy

All your views were long refuted
You think they’re new, you’re just deluded
You’re not being persecuted
Here’s the truth – you’re just too stupid

Someone that certain surely (Has to be a maniac)
Get a load of this guy
Look at the comments down there (Checkin' out my privilege now)
Get a load of this guy

Bitchin’ conviction mid-life (Still thinks it’s rebellion)
Get a load of this guy
Bitter and terrified (Bring the feminazis on)
Get a load of this guy

Bring the feminazis on
Get a load of this guy
Track Name: Inexplicable
Stop hitting yourself
Stop hitting yourself
When you try to make sense of it all, that is when
It starts to break down
And then you, you start to break down
But that is the moment clarity calls your name

The news is breakin’ through, you know it’s inexplicable
Accept the dream
Your new epiphany
It’s all inexplicable - despicable now
The news is to confuse, they’re all incomprehensible
All you can see
Your new epiphany
The world’s inexplicable, a critical vow

So give up the booze
Or start drinking more booze
Enlightenment cares not for which you choose
The message is clear
There is no, no message to hear
It’s chaos out there and nobody will survive

The news is breakin’ through, you know it’s inexplicable
Accept the dream
Your new epiphany
It’s all inexplicable - despicable now
The news is to confuse, they’re all incomprehensible
All you can see
Your new epiphany
The world’s inexplicable, a critical vow

And when you can’t make sense of it
It’s clear they can’t make sense of it
It’s like a weight of sense is lifted from your mind

The news is breakin’ through, you know it’s inexplicable
Accept the dream
Your new epiphany
It’s all inexplicable - despicable now
The news is to confuse, they’re all incomprehensible
All you can see
Your new epiphany
The world’s inexplicable, a critical vow
Track Name: Big Karma
When I was an infant
My parents were no different
They would drum into me
Be nice to your brother
Your neighbours and to others
And they will be nice to thee

So I was, and I was and I was – no response
Am I wrong? Am I on the wrong side of history?

I’m with big karma and washed up in the harbour
I chose big karma and washed up in the harbour
I never noticed the way of the wind
Or that evil would win
I’m with big karma and washed up in the harbour
I chose big karma and washed up in the harbour
I never noticed the way of the wind
Or that evil would win

I’ve always been a pleasure
To be around and never
Spoke evil of anyone
Altruistic, giving
Benevolent, forgiving
And waited for the reward

So I was, and I was and I was – no response
Am I wrong? Am I on the wrong side of history?

I’m with big karma and washed up in the harbour
I chose big karma and washed up in the harbour
I never noticed the way of the wind
Or that evil would win
I’m with big karma and washed up in the harbour
I chose big karma and washed up in the harbour
I never noticed the way of the wind
Or that evil would win

I awoke every morn there was no golden dawn
Charity’s overblown when you’re alone
I awoke every morn there was no golden dawn
Charity’s overblown when you’re alone

I’m with big karma and washed up in the harbour
I chose big karma and washed up in the harbour
I never noticed the way of the wind
Or that evil would win
I’m with big karma and washed up in the harbour
I chose big karma and washed up in the harbour
I never noticed the way of the wind
Or that evil would win
Track Name: Defenceless
He stands on the podium ready for ridicule
Resembling the least popular boy in vampire school
The feel, the deal we've been here before
Measured expectations have us heading for the door

But then we hear
You're not defenceless any more
Despite the evidence you saw
There once was no logic just bigotry
There can be perfection and symmetry
You're not defenceless any more
Optimism conquers all
Excited, ignited, united, unstoppable

We’re beaten exhausted and punch drunk upon the floor
We’ve found that you can’t change the system, we know the score
But then the youth with expectation’s eyes
Untainted by relentless failure look up to the skies

They’re singing
You're not defenceless any more
Despite the evidence you saw
There once was no logic just bigotry
There can be perfection and symmetry
You're not defenceless any more
Optimism conquers all
Excited, ignited, united, unstoppable

You're not defenceless any more

The world is a party I’d not been invited to
I’ve gatecrashed a baffling labyrinth of peer reviews
But then a voice from somewhere in the room
Makes a small but valid point and it’s possible we’re not doomed

You're not defenceless any more
Despite the evidence you saw
There once was no logic just bigotry
There can be perfection and symmetry
You're not defenceless any more
Optimism conquers all
Excited, ignited, united, unstoppable
Track Name: Flim Flam
Life is comin’ fast and it is unregulated
Forgetting all the things we have already debated
Gettin’ just a little bit disorientated
Flim flam flim flam
Everybody starts to feel a little unstable
Happy to accept a little group reappraisal
It’s the perfect time to bring some common sense to the table
Flim flam flim flam

Oh oh flim flammin’
Play it hip so the message sticks
Oh oh flim flammin’
Take it downtown – it’s profound
Oh oh flim flammin’
Give support - never face the onslaught
And that’s the path to success

Very real concerns oh we will never ignore them
We treat you with respect and with lot of decorum
But now is not the time - an inappropriate forum
Flim flam flim flam
“Surely this behaviour will cause revolution?”
In practice insurrection is no favoured solution
We all return to comforting and known institutions
Flim flam flim flam

Oh oh flim flammin’
Be the man in the traffic jam
Oh oh flim flammin’
Be the guy with the cheap supply
Oh oh flim flammin’
Take the box and the overstocks
Oh and that’s the path to success

Oh oh flim flammin’
If you’re hip to the hypocrit
Oh flim flammin’
You don’t mind being undermined
Oh flim flammin’
Represent the ingredients
You’re on the path to success

Middlemen overspend
Circumvent dissonance
Recompense one percent
Malcontent president

Living in the future and we’re all disappointed
Everyone we hoped would have their influence voided
Has either been rewarded or they’ve been reappointed
Flim flam
Society is beaten up exhausted and bleeding
Everybody sighing, giving up and conceding
Tomorrow getting bleaker every second we leave it

Oh oh flim flammin’
Take it downtown take it downtown
Oh oh flim flammin’
Take it downtown take it downtown
Be the man in the traffic jam
Be the man in the traffic jam
Track Name: I Wonder Where the Wonder Goes
Well you’re dancing at the disco
And you’re dancing through the night
You still want some stimulation
But you find it all so trite
Is there more to life than dancing?
Is there more to life than sex?
No-one ever finds there’s more to life
Than failure and regret

Sometimes I wonder where the wonder goes
Sometimes I wonder how to stop the show
Before we all become more comatose
Sometimes I wonder where the wonder goes
Sometimes I wonder where the wonder goes
I had ambition, was a dynamo
All that potential now the status quo
Sometimes I wonder where the wonder goes

We all used to be attractive
And we used to have it all
So let’s get back to the good times
Through denial and alcohol
We’re all trying to tell the difference
Between ennui and pain
It’s a cargo cult society
So let’s go round again

Sometimes I wonder where the wonder goes
Sometimes I wonder why it all plateaus
I’m treading water in the overflow
Sometimes I wonder where the wonder goes
Sometimes I wonder where the wonder goes
I wanna live in polyphonic prose
I don’t mean to come over grandiose
It’s just I wonder where the wonder goes

Oxidation from within
Putrefaction for the win
Apathy and lethargy
They're the only goals for me

And as we wonder where the wonder goes
Why aren’t we basking in the afterglow?
Now we’re all living in Guantanamo
Nobody wonders where the wonder goes
So when you’re tiring of the anecdotes
And being carried by the undertow
And we’re all fighting for the last lifeboat
You too will wonder where the wonder goes

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