This is Pylon at their purest, mixing the spartan angularity of Gang of Four with a playfulness missing from similar U.K. bands like the Au Pairs or the early Mekons (or indeed from Gang of Four themselves) as well as the irresistible danceability of Athens compatriots the B-52's. Yet Pylon never quite sounded like anyone except Pylon. Their naive instrumental style and inimitable vocals are so idiosyncratic that they probably couldn't sound like anyone else any more than another band could tackle a Pylon song.
A concept album about boxing, failed relationships, and drug addiction sounds like something most people wouldn't listen to without being forced, but in Aimee Mann's hands, it became the basis of one of her best albums. 2005's The Forgotten Arm is a story full of flawed but memorable characters and canny insights on the struggle to be honest, and with its rich arrangements and coolly eloquent vocals, Mann's performance is as good as her writing.