Scottish cult rockers The Filthy Tongues have been around for a few years. Formed by ex-Goodbye Mr Mackenzie/Angelfish members Martin Metcalfe, Fin Wilson and Derek Kelly, they released albums in the noughties with a fourth member in singer Stacey Chavis.
The Filthy Tongues – Black Valentine (Last Night From Glasgow/Blokshok)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Ian Sutherland
With Chavis’ departure, the trio have been cementing themselves as purveyors of dark, hypnotic, groovy alternative rock with an arty twist or two. Three full albums have been released since 2016 to much acclaim.
A loose trilogy based in and around their native Edinburgh, Jacob’s Ladder, Back To Hell and this year’s In These Dark Places have burnished their reputation as an intense, accomplished unit. They make music with a nod to Nick Cave, but with their own Celtic burr added to deep dark soundscapes.
Black Valentine is a compilation of songs from their aforementioned trilogy, with a couple of new tunes added to keep the momentum going forward.
This collection makes a valuable introduction to the band’s gothic blues vibes. Whether you are local to Edinburgh or not, The Ghost Of Rab McVie’s atmospheric groove with references to the Water Of Leith will work its’ way into your heart and darken your soul as it does so.
In These Dark Places is no less insistent, a toe-tapping, seductive siren of a song to tempt you into the shadows where the really interesting stories are.
The title track from their Jacob’s Ladder album has their trademark mix of spellbinding hook lines and dark laments, while Gas Mask Blues shows how to take a straight-ahead rock tune and turn it into something dirty and subversive.
The added tracks for this release are Underground City, which has a restrained goth rock vibe to it and Black Valentine itself, which has a circular hook and an off-centre vocal to take you down somewhere beyond the black.
There are older bonus cuts on here, too, in the jagged alternative rock of Crewcut and the jangly goth guitar splendour of Nae Tongues.
As an introduction to the dark and murky world of Edinburgh’s foremost purveyors of dark-edged rock ‘n’ roll, Black Valentine is perfect and satisfying yet leaves the listener wanting more.
Licking their lips with their filthy tongues while they listen, too, no doubt.