Five Grand Stereo: Sex and Money – the rock opera makes a natural progression

Fri, Jan 26, 2018, 05:00


Sex and Money

Five Grand Stereo

Brownpaper Records


When a band you’ve never heard of presents a “rock opera” that posits the not-unthinkable notion of plonking a 1970s pop/pre-punk group into 2018, then it’s worth a listen. On this debut album, conceived by London-resident Dubliner Chris Singleton, that especially artful era of sexed-up, bi-curious pop music (Roxy Music, Lou Reed, David Bowie, T Rex et al) is mixed with songs of real depth. An easy sonic reference point would be along the lines of Luke Haines, Divine Comedy and Pulp in a liquidiser, but there is much more to Five Grand Stereo than influences. Songs such as All You’ve Got to Do Is Go to Bed (“I know what you want and you know what I need”) and Anyone Can Be a Star (“there’s nothing they can’t sell you, and there’s nothing you won’t buy’) look at, respectively, blatant sexism and the shallowness of reality TV, while others touch on Brexit, fan adulation, manipulation and rejection. With a strong narrative thread, detailed musicianship, and a sharp sense of humour, Sex and Money is a thrill ride for the head. Hop on.