You absent mindedly pick up a Single in a record shop. You are wondering whether you should buy it. The single in question is “A Europewide Search For Love”. You notice the eponymous track comes both as a radio edit and an album version. There is a third track too “f**k this for a game of japs and commandoes.” It intrigues you but doesn’t help your predicament much. But look, I’ve heard this CD would it help if I told you a bit about it?
A Europewide Search For Love begins as brave lone guitar steps forth. A gentle drum-beat and occasional cymbal-crash join it to establish almost hypnotic rhythm which carry right through the track.
The addition of other instruments intertwine to create an optimistic yet melancholy tune.
With the scene set the curtains open on those half dead hours when the earth expects some rest from prying watchful eyes of the waking world. The swish, swish, swish of the cymbal mirror the sleepless apathy of the hour.
“it was only me who was awake/ to see the financial reports from the american markets/ under a huge stars and stripes which hung over an empty wall street/”
You settle down, ready to give into the calm of the night but just as you do you are swept off to a land of echoing backing vocals and snapshots of people on trains where you find yourself thinking.
“thinking about much more important things”
With a tinge of regret you start to think about the past and with a hint of apprehension you think about the future.
“wondering what will happen if they find what they really want/ and what they really need/ and they lose it/ will they ever be able to forget or to forgive themselves?”
As you are still wondering the track ends leaving you slightly unsteady and still wanting to know the answer to the questions posed.
In this slightly fragile mindset “f**k this for a game of japs and commandoes” comes as a bit of a shock, and whilst those who are already familiar with Ballboy would be able to identify “a europewide search for love” with some ease, they may find they had more difficulty identifying the third track of this single. The opening cords sound hard and slightly uncaring after the previous track, but this gives way to mellower somewhat futuristic sound.
“f**k this for a game of japs and commandoes” is an undeniably tougher and more rocky version of ballboy. Always eager to bother busy people I decided to ask Gordon McIntrye more about the song:
“ It is an old song which we used to play live a lot. I think maybe it was my post-rock moment, but I couldn't resist putting vocals on it in the end. The only real insight I can give is that, if we write something and like it then we don't refrain from using it because it doesn't fit well with other things we do - we just go ahead and use it. We are not consciously trying to develop a certain style. If one emerges then fine, but I'm quite happy to have songs which buck the trend. (in fact a lot of the songs which people probably consider to be part of our style were songs which originally didn't fit with other songs eg 'i lost you....' and 'leave the earth...' spring to mind.)”
So now I’ve told you everything I know. What do you think? Are you going to buy the single? Oh I see you already have. Well I can’t say I blame you.