Back in Denim

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Moving away from the gorgeously skewed guitar pop of Felt, Lawrence released this debut album under the Denim moniker in 1992. Those expecting the elegant guitar figures of old were in for quite a surprise. Sweet and crunchy rhythm guitars and goofy synthesizers were the new order of the day, as was a stream of lyrical vitriol. The beguiling eight-minute "The Osmonds" runs down a list of everything an English boy could encounter in the '70s, from velvet flares to the IRA, and ends with a nod to David Essex's "Rock On." The '70s actually hold up pretty well under Lawrence's critical gaze, particularly considering his passing shots in "Middle of the Road" at the usually revered Stones, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan -- or his outright hostility in "I'm Against the Eighties," which focuses on "winklepicker kids Mary Chain" and "Duran Duran fake makeup boys."

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