Dropping Like Flies – Papers Please (Still No Better) | Single Review

From the critically underrated death of South Wales based Punk Rock royalty ‘100,000 Bodybags’, comes this new formidable bunch of lousy noiseniks – quite aptly named ‘Dropping Like Flies’. With a band mantra described on their Facebook page as ‘heavier and more determined to piss you off than ever before’, I rock my cruddy second-hand swivel chair forward, eyes down at the keyboard, ready to dissect this little fucker.  

Wait a moment… I’ve been BAMBOOZLED!? As soon as I hit play on the track, I’m met with the tuneful strums of a ukulele. Where the hell is this nasty balls-to-the-wall Rock & Roll I was promised? I’ve been hoodwinked! Mind you, there is nothing more punk rock than subversion, and therein lies the beauty of the wilfully entitled ‘Papers Please (Still No Better)’.   

I really like the honest and abrasive vocals performed on the track, layered with a bit of spoken vocal, it reminds me of Joe Strummer with a dash of Tom Waits thrown in for good measure. The lyrics are delivered at a quick-fire pace giving an almost a reggae-like jounce as they sail along smoothly with a jaded confidence. Thematically, the track is obviously quite a fired political rant, but being relatively apolitical with my own approach to reviewing music, I can honestly say the song is enjoyable whether or not you agree with these passionate words being spat out at a lightning pace. 

Musically, the bright sounds of the ukulele and interesting backing vocals really make the song stand out to me. There isn’t any percussion on the track as such, bar the tuneful rhythmic sounds spilling out from the uke, but this really helps you to focus on the lyrics and dark waves of bass guitar that dip in and out as it progresses. We even get a little bass solo kind of breakdown before the singing hits the gas pedal and goes into an overdriven flow of accelerated words and phrenic song writing.  

This reminds me so much of the debut single by Adam and the Ants. They came off the back of this heavy rock machine, ready to break through with what was expected to be the manic hype towards an energetic and raw debut single. But in the true spirit of punk they decided to release their first major label song with a French inspired folk sounding tune called ‘Young Parisians’. No quick paced guitar licks, no thrash of the drums and rumbling bass, just light hearted twang-pop with a refrain of ‘I want to go to Paris with you, just to see what the French boys do’. I love the similar tone and essence that Dropping Like Flies have brought to their first release. They built me up in advance, expecting a whirlwind of noise and chaos, but delivered in response a political anti-folk ditty that sounds like George Formby smoking a bag of hash on a picket line made of toffee. I admire the ethos they’ve adopted for their debut release. Do it the way you like it or just fuck off.  

“Papers Please (Still No Better)” is out now. To listen to it, check out their Bandcamp page. Please also give the band a follow and keep up to date on future releases!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/droppinglikeflies 

Bandcamp: https://droppinglikeflies.bandcamp.com/track/papers-please-still-no-better 

Mitch Tennant – 27/04/2021 

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