This lovely blood red vinyl arrived with a press release stating that due to Jigsaw Records’ unorthodox practices this album doesn’t have a fancy Press release. So I have decided to review this album using the unorthodox practice of entirely making up my own fictitious back story for Lunchbox and the album Lunchbox Loves you as well as a concept for the album that has nothing to do with any of the info on the actual website!!
Lunchbox formed a few years ago when school friends Tim Brown and Donna McKean bonded over the fact that both their mothers had posters of Linford Christie’s legendary lunchbox on the fridge doors and they both wondered why, living in Oakland California, they had mums obsessed with an British sprinter. While still at school they pledged to form a band and record a concept album about this experience and Linford Christie’s lunchbox and Lunchbox Loves You is the result of that childhood idea. Rather than the follow up to an album that came out ages ago or the other bands they may be famous for having played in. You with me so far?
The album comes sprinting out of the blocks on Everybody Knows like Linford Christie re-imagined as The Vaselines having a tambourine off with the Buzzcocks. It has the edge of the perfect start getting up to full speed just in time for Linford to ask Tom, What’s Wrong? Well the real answer to that of course is that Tom doesn’t look half as good as Linford in those skin tight lycra shorts. That and the fact that he didn’t get any tortilla chips in his lunchbox today.
On Will You Be True there is an explosion of jangle pop as Linford flies by a couple of opponents and they are happy as he’s on the telly and well, will you be true to him? of course they will be true to Linford’s Lunchbox. What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You deals with the vexed question of whether Linford’s coaches would have doped him without telling him or not and how he would have reacted had his lunchbox shrunk over delicious Raspberries-style repetitious jangles.
Die Trying is about Linford’s epic struggle to be the best in the world at both 100 and 200 metres, while never finishing out of the first three and never failing to sound more like the Darling Buds than Kris Akabusi. It Feels Good To Lose is written from the perspective of one of Linford’s opponents who is gazing at Linford’s bum as it crosses the line in front of him again and he can’t help but admire his superior abilities. This is all sung over some very fey, winsome and quite lovely cool shimmering guitars and keyboards.
Another Dance Floor sees them trying to approach Linford on the dance floor as the object of their desire in a reversal of You Look Good on the Dance Floor. The dynamics are a little skewed, and jangly guitars help crush you as the man with the huge lunchbox hooks up with someone else. I love the flute that floats in the background of I Go Mad as the pleadingly lusty jangle pop tells us of their obsession to never go five minutes without watching Linford’s magnificent lunchbox sprinting towards you.
Give A Little Love is a cool little sing-along plea for a little love and just hoping that the Lunchbox reciprocates the love. The album crosses the finish line in gold medal position with the rackety Tonight Is Out Of Sight, which could have been on the Dandy Warhols first album. It’s a real sprint finish with the trumpets signalling a fanfare as Linford crosses the line arms raised and that big smile plastered all over your face because he understands jangle pop this good is still being made.