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Your Best Nightmare - Presents: A Simple Solution for Toxic Masculinity (Your Best Records)

1 February 2024

If you are one of those people who like their music in neat boxes, labelled and pigeonholed so that it conforms to current generic rank and file, then Your Best Nightmare is going to upset you on that score. All the best music should, and indeed does. Although woven from equal amounts of pop smarts and punky attitude, a sort of quirky folkiness and a strange, almost musical theatre, buoyancy, depending on the quantities blended from song to song, it sways all over the musical landscape like a drunk driver. (Not a dangerously drunk driver, one just merry enough that they have no truck staying in the designated lines or taking much notice of the road signs.)

At the one extreme, you have songs like “Paint the Town Red”, which is a ukulele-driven song that is a spacious and airy slice of alt-folk acoustica made up merely of strings, vocals and a distant bass presence, and that is it. At the other, recent single, “Promising Young Woman” is cocooned in alt-rock sonic weight and more driven beats but still stands a long way to one side of current expectations, being more smartly compossed, more uniquely delivered and more deftly spun.

Between them, songs such as “Target Acquired” sound like a pop-punk band performing an acoustic set, and “Really Cute” is a vaudeville number crashing into the pop mainstream and creating all sort of havoc with expectations and comfort zones.

Even with all those strange descriptions and my ham-fisted attempts to put into words what Presents: A Simple Solution for Toxic Masculinity is all about, the best thing to do is play the record; it’s the only way to get your head around Your Best Nightmare’s style and sonic purpose. But I will say this. If you don’t like music that drips with attitude, give it a miss.