It’s easy to forget in 2015 that Coventry’s contribution to the post-punk revival of the late 00’s, The Enemy, were once seen as new, exciting, and a potential British rock ‘n roll success story in the making.
With the hindsight of nearly a decade and two universally panned follow-up records, it’s patently obvious that this was all another misreading of NME’s crystal ball – but don’t let that take away from the fact that We’ll Live and Die In These Towns was an interesting debut with moments like ‘Happy Birthday Jane’ that genuinely shone through.
By far the best song they’ve ever made, yet never released as a single, the three-minute track is a sorrowful, lamenting and empathetic take on the undefined difficulties faced by ‘Jane’, with the faint suggestion being that the lady suffered from depression and eventually passed away.
With an orchestral-tinged rhythm and a rather haunting harmony, the tune comes as something of a pleasing refresher from a group more well known for a shouting over angry guitars, and its emotional content trumps that of the trite theme of working class rebellion that The Enemy have completely done to death.
It’s no masterpiece, nor does it set out to be, but ‘Happy Birthday Jane’ is a forgotten song of the bygone era of ‘landfill indie’ that merits a short moment of your time.
Words by Benedict