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For Sale: Momus – Hairstyle of the Devil 12-inch single

When you’re blessed with writing about music for a living there are moments when the expansive sense of elation and incredulity over what you actually do becomes veined with a calcified cynicism. The best music writers are fans, but it’s really easy to become disenchanted with music when you’re checking Google Reader before your first cup of coffee and yeah, you’re struggling to get it up about Ratking’s position in the buzz cycle or the drip-drip feed of release date/tracklist/artwork/ for the new Hurts record. Still, when I find my fandom is drying up or running on muscle memory I return to one artist: Momus. My choice for Kaufen then is this 12-inch from 1989 and was Creation Records head Alan McGee‘s bid to inject the Nick Currie’s louche persona and boisterous intellectualism into pop’s main artery.

However, despite being a fine specimen of literate, late Eighties synth pop which also gained traction in the independent charts, the bid ultimately failed. Currie, like most voyeurs, was perfectly content as outsider and would go on to make increasingly inaccessible and wilfully strange meta-pop, leaving the percolating synths and arch lyrics to the far less sexualized Pet Shop Boys. Speaking of which, “Hairstyle of the Devil” does sounds quite a lot like “It’s a Sin”, except for one thing: it’s better. You can pick the vinyl up on eBay every now and again, or head over to Discogs where you can grab it for a couple of euros.

Published January 26, 2013. Words by Louise Brailey.