Neils Children - You Didn't Care

Bill Cummings 11/06/2007

Rating: 2/5

One suspects that Neils Children have been over taken by events, casting my ears over their older material: I'm struck by how different they probably sounded at the beginning of the millennium: one can hear the scratchy finger of minimal post punk eyeliner that runs back to the early work of the Cure and PIL. One could even hear remnants of Pink Floyd's early psychedelic wardrobe, the slightly unhinged moments when Syd Barrett would rustle around in his noggin and come up with something suitably off the wall.

Its a sadness to report that five years on from their inception, they now sound rather pedestrian with other bands in the so called “Southend scene” stealing a march on their gothic art rock ground, most notably the style, The Horrors and the substance of These New puritans. Indeed new single “You didn't care” is almost an apologetic tune: sure all the components are still there, the twitching starkness of the Joy Division-esque rhythm, the clicking beats fumbled over by a frugality of bass notes, then there's the scratchy guitars that rub against your skin, and a sneering Robert Smith style vocal. But there's something missing, a real standout melody, indeed the vocals sound affected and hollow and mundane: lacking a sense of humanity, the lyrics ("I tried to make life worth living/ but you didn't care") just rattle with a limp angsty introspection, the repetitive melodic line, and pastiched post punk shapes: are all a bit of a let down given their more experimental early demos. It all leaves us wondering why we should care anymore?