In the Best Case Scenario We'd Die at the Same Time (or In the Best Case Scena..., as my iPhone would have it) is the brand spanking new album from My Name is Ian. It's out today on Bubblewrap Records - the Cardiffian indie label that was barmy enough to release MEN back in 2013 - and it's well worth a listen if you get a spare thirty minutes or so this weekend.
My Name is Ian are kind of like a British version of Frog, a band I've found myself coming back to a lot over the last few months. For one thing, MNiI's lyrics are steeped in pop culture, much like Frog's - one of my favourite moments is this couplet from Either Slugs are Getting Faster or My Brain is Getting Slower (Welcome to Planet Earth), the album's opening track:
"Welcome to our planet, I hope you enjoy your stay,
The dolphin that played Flipper in the sixties killed itself by refusing to breathe."
Best Case Scenario also shares a kind of frayed lo-fi-ness with both of Frog's releases, which could be why the New York duo came to mind when I first heard this album. But there's one important difference between My Name is Ian and Frog: where the latter band use hazy production and pop-cultural titbits to obscure their true feelings, My Name is Ian do the opposite. References to Flipper and Castaway are used to illustrate the blunt, honest, emotive points being made, and...well, I don't know, I guess the lo-fi sound makes it all sound more frail and human and mortal.
SO what frail, human points are being made here? Well, if I may resort to bullet points, here are some examples:
- Earth is a terrible place
- People are irrational
- Also, we're all dicks
- Every relationship ends badly
Honesty is a key part of this album's appeal - you probably won't feel particularly happy by the time you've reached the end of track ten, but you will feel oddly refreshed and perhaps even vindicated if you're the sort to think about this stuff too. In the Best Case Scenario... doesn't so much make sense of the human condition as point out that there's no sense to be made of it. We're mean to some animals and nice to others; we fear rejection even when we've nothing to lose. We're all full of contradictions, and perhaps we should all just accept that and get on with it and, hey, maybe write some nice tunes while we're at it.
In the Best Case Scenario We'd Die at the Same Time is out today on Bubblewrap. Buy it here.