Finders Keepers/B-Music issued the punnily titled comp Man Chest Hair late last year, and if the idea of alpha-male, mutton-chopped, hard-groovin’ rock from the northern English city of Manchester gets your earholes quivreing, you need this. Hell, even the band names are entertaining: Urbane Gorilla, Stackwaddy, Spider Jive, Grisby Dyke, So On & So Forth, King Dick II, etc. FK co-owner Andy Votel collated 18 tracks of this boozy, surprisingly funky strain of rock—and wrote 26 pages of tiny-fonted liner notes documenting the overlooked scene. I hope to read the whole damn booklet during my retirement years.
My favorite track on Man Chest Hair is Greasy Bear’s “Windy Day”—although Savoury Duck’s “Dragonflight,” a clavinet-powered prog nugget, comes close. “Windy Day” is one of those songs that boast a groove that’s at once slack and tight (think Steve Miller Band’s “Take the Money and Run") and features a chorus that makes your life seem to open up with infinite possibilities, like a spectacularly excessive delusion of grandeur. The articulate guitar licks snarl at responsibilities and promise free and easy good times. Vocalist Chris Lee’s gruff timbre resembles that of grizzled troubadour Michael Chapman, but the overall vibe is more Southern US (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, et al.) than Northern UK.
I recommend daily (or even hourly) listenings of this to keep the doldrums at bay. The entire comp could soundtrack your summer party season, even if you’re the most curmudgeonly antisocialite.