How the Fallen Are Mighty

by The Hepburns

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    Digipak with 28-page illustrated lyric booklet and extensive (English/Japanese) liner notes.

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    LP with printed inner sleeve with lyrics and extensive (English/Japanese) liner notes.

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about

Have you ever wondered what your friends say behind you back? Not the edited version, the spin or the pitch, but the backstabbing, the barb and the bitch? The Hepburns (Wales) have returned with an album championing the ordinary, the downtrodden and the broken. That said, How the Fallen Are Mighty also just happens to represent The Hepburns at their cattiest, as they skewer couch surfers, hack writers, sexual taxonomists, civil servants, store greeters and (more often than not) themselves at every turn. With the exception of one track ("Growing Old", a devastating but quite possibly optimistic haiku to the fading mind), How the Fallen Are Mighty is all barb, all bitch, all the time.

Although the starting musical reference point remains classic guitar pop (think Brilliant Corners, Smiths, Lucksmiths), inspirations from outside the genre abound, encompassing the barbershop-meets-Yazoo of "Delores" (ode to a glowering cashier), om-pa-pa for jazz guitar, tuba and tub-thumping narrator ("One More Notch on the Bedpost"), Addams Family-meets-Specials-meets-The Pink Panther-meets-Charlotte Bronte ("The Help"), car-chase instrumentals ("Save Your Stories for the Police, Maurice"), growling 50s musical camp (the indignant Matt Jones reveling in his social status as "Persona Non Grata") and the angular, bass-forward groove (in-kraut or post punk?) of "Man Missing."

- Alexander Bailey

“How the Fallen Are Mighty is the work of a poet. A mosaic of witty, fantastical, individualistic songs that sound well alone and collectively form a breathtaking panorama of lyrical imagery and eclectic sound. I don’t know where this work stands in today’s polluted pop waters, but I fancy that back in the more bracing airs of 1981 it would have been celebrated as the major achievement it surely is.”
—Mike Alway, él Records

"I've loved the Hepburns since Goalmouth Incident and can say with complete honesty (and signed in blood) that with every album they just get better. Songs like ‘Man Missing’, ‘Vermouth’, ‘Dolores’, ‘Nobody Loves Me’ and ‘Sad, Free, Excited and Empty’ have all — after a single meagre listen — placed themselves effortlessly onto the short list of all-time indiepop classics. After several listens, I was hospitalized for severe happiness."
—Corey W. Schmidt, Central Services

“I have no idea what happened. One minute I was at a madcap yet elegant party trading barbs with shimmying sophisticates, and the next I was in a gutter with my lapels askew and this album clutched in my trembling hands. Where did the Hepburns come from? What have they done to me? Why does the rest of life seem so dull in comparison?”
—Lemony Snicket

credits

released March 1, 2017

Matt Jones - Guitar & Vocals
Mike Thomas - Bass
Pat Grover - Drums & Harmonica
Sue Rees - Keyboards & Flute
Stephen Lewis - Saxaphone

Mastered by Jon Chaikin.

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about

The Hepburns Wales, UK

The Hepburns are a Welsh indie band from Llanelli, South-West Wales. They have recorded ten albums, two EPs, one single, and three BBC sessions and have been signed to Berkeley-based label Radio Khartoum since 1999. They toured the United States and Scandinavia in 2007. 'There’s No Such Thing as The Hepburns', their tenth studio album, is due for release on 29 January 2017. ... more

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Track Name: Sad, Free, Excited and Empty
I write myself out of the script
Out of the book a page is ripped
A metaphor, I live next door
To simile and oxymoron

I’m sad, free, excited and empty

I’m peering through the tomato plants
Halfway between the ares and the aren’ts
In a greenhouse, on an allotment
At the edge of town

I’m sad, free, excited and empty

I’ve got nobody controlling me
I’ve got nobody consoling me
Track Name: Nobody Loves Me
Can you imagine what it would be like
To hear the words that get said behind your back?
Not the edited version, the spin or the pitch
But the backstabbing, the barb and the bitch
Like a branch that his head struck upon the way down
He had taken up rooms on the dark side of town
Sinking Lethe-wards in his self-made bed
He happened to hear certain words that were said

Nobody loves me anymore

To make matters worse the one twisting the knife
Was someone that he’d known for most of his life
If in such low esteem he was held by a friend
Then where would his enemies’ despising end?
He ran from the house, his reality skewed
In search of the untruth and the platitude
Screaming “Nobody loves me, well not anymore”
(The truth is that nobody loved him before)

Nobody loves me anymore

He swore an oath he would never return
To the place where he felt his ears burn
Indignation oozing from every pore
Retribution would be swift and sure
But the one who scorn, upon him, poured
Also happened to be his landlord
So he blamed the incident upon the booze
’Cause everyone knows that a beggar can’t choose

Nobody loves me anymore
Track Name: One More Notch on The Bedpost
One more notch on the bedpost
The next name on the list
Another drunken conquest
One more paralytic tryst

You keep a spreadsheet on the bed sheet
Just so you can keep track
Of what you did to who and when
Who’s the best in the sack

You certainly have got the patter
I’ve seen you in action
The girlies love to natter
It’s part of your attraction

But what I’m finding creepy
Is that you record their names, you
Chalk the legless and the sleepy up
In your Sex Hall of Fame

One more notch on the bedpost
She spent all week in the gym
Just to go out dancing and become
Your next victim

You keep a spreadsheet on the bed sheet
You’re scribbling by the track
Taking down particulars
A sexual anorak

Sensing my reaction
You tried to back off
With some nervous fidgeting
And an embarrassed cough

I ried through your possessions
Whilst you were in the loo
Imagine my surprise to find
My name on the list too…

One more notch on the bedpost
The next name on the list
Another drunken conquest
One more paralytic tryst

You keep a spreadsheet on the bed sheet
Just so you can keep track
Of what you did to who and when
Of who’s the finest specimen
Of their physical acumen
Who’s the best in the sack
Track Name: Writer Friend
“I am a writer”, insisted writer friend, but
In the dozen lever arch files
Of the work that he had penned
Any evidence of writing it was hard to apprehend

He said he didn’t do description
Which I later understood to mean
That when it came to writing…
Writer friend was not much good

He was very fond of Ibsen and George Bernard Shaw
But his work bore more resemblance to “Minder”
He called himself writer, albeit inaccurately
Because “no talent chancer” doesn’t look good on the C.V.

If the truth is out there writer friend has put a spin on it
It’s a conspiracy and writer friend is on it
From sinister, to sinisterer, to sinisterest
If he can’t write about it then it does not exist
Track Name: Delores
I don’t think Delores really cares
Immune to all the sniggers and the stares
Well she looks ten years older
Than I happen to know she is
She’s on the bottom rung
She’s a hero and she’s unsung

I don’t think Delores really cares
An attitude like a perfume she wears
Well I used to see her
Running with the pack
Now the boss calls her to heel
She may be working on the tills
A shopgirl but
Delores kneels for no man

I don’t think Delores really cares
She’s not your fool or anyone else’s
If the other cashiers hear
Then she’ll be for the sack!
She doesn’t know how to behave
Delores will never make a slave
Come on Delores, rant and rave —
Rant and rave for all time

I don’t think Delores really cares
Immune to all the sniggers and the stare
Track Name: The Help
Meet the kids, my gruesome progeny
I’ve got one of each upon either side of me
Daddy’s got some baggage and he needs someone to carry it
The boy’s called Ainsley and the girl’s called Harriet

The other half, the incumbent Mrs Jones,
She’s more like Mrs Rochester, she stalks the attic oors alone
I heard you say the housekeeper is eyeing you suspiciously
Well if the job’s worth doing then it’s worth doing maliciously

And what about this place?
Its clever use of light and space?
But isn’t one place much the same as another
When you think about it?

I heard you say that my valet may have the look of Roy Kinnear
Don’t let him hear you saying that or he could slit you ear-to-ear
Though I suppose you could be right that in a certain light
The children’s governess could pass for Rudolf Höss

That just leaves the gardener, his nickname is Pete the Veg
He breakfasts upon Strongbow, he says that it gives him an edge
The gossip below stairs is I may be his whelp
They say that Mama had a weakness for “the help”

And what about this place?
Its clever use of light and space?
But isn’t one place much the same as another
When you think about it?
Track Name: Vermouth
My arrival at the car park
Was heralded by the horns
Of the boy racers, in their Golf GTIs
And their souped-up Peugeot 205s.

As I made my way in past the greeter,
An exceptionally camp young man
With a thin strip of a Kevin Rowland goatee
And wild, speedy eyes, I heard him say:

“Well I could eat something, but I don’t know what”
To his geeky-looking, overweight,
But nonetheless equally camp companion
In the lumberjack shirt.

As I made my way over to the drinks aisle
I chanced upon two stoners.
They were together, but not together,
If you know what I mean. These two stoners I’d seen

Not 10 minutes previously in the local Wetherspoons pub,
They were wandering aimlessly
Inside the converted cinema
As if in search of seats long-gone.

They were purchasing chocolate and crisps
In copious quantities. Totally unselfconsciously.
As for me, I was buying vermouth.

As I emerged back into the car park,
Those boy racers now one thousand strong,
And the Dexy’s-Midnight-Runners-frontman-look-alike
Still in a quandary about what to have for his tea
Track Name: Persona Non Grata (in Margam Place)
I’m persona non grata in Margam Place
Persona non grata, I can’t show my face
But to be honest I couldn’t care less
That I’m persona non grata in Margam Place

I’m persona non grata in Margam Place
Persona non grata, a total disgrace
I’m glad to be out of that wilderness
I’m persona non grata in Margam Place

You know how much I like to be
Offending common decency
You know there’s nothing I like more
Than being turned back on the door

I’m persona non grata
Track Name: Ken Park: The Man, The Film
Drinking in the Con Club on a busy Christmas Eve
Ken Park, civil servant, has got a few tricks up his sleeve,
He’s playing with his mobile phone
And smirking at the barmaid.
Her mobile rings. It’s Ken, text messaging.
She tells him: “Ken you could have just ordered!”
But there’ll be techno wizardry inside of Ken Park’s head.

I call my brother, I’ve got a few games for his boys
But it’s difcult to make myself heard above the Tory noise.
Ken’s going on about his NVQ
And his forklift driver’s licence, too.
My brother and his girlfriend
They’re already on their way. I tell them:
“If you get trouble on the door then tell them Cliff says it’s okay.”

Ken Park says: “If you google my name,
Then you don’t get me,
You get the movie,
It’s a lm see — Ken Park.”
Track Name: Growing Old
Old men are like young boys
Young boys are like old men
Growing old might be like meeting
Someone you’ve forgotten

Old women are like young girls
Young girls like old women
Growing old might be like meeting
Someone you’ve forgotten
Track Name: Man Missing
There’s a man missing
He just excused himself
Finished up his cup of tea
And put his book back on the shelf

Man Missing — he’s absent without leave
I bet the office gossips are laughing up their sleeves

There’s a Home Guard
Of carpet slippers standing down
An echoing cloakroom
Of empty raincoats just hanging around

Man Missing — he’s absent without leave
I bet the office gossips are laughing up their sleeves

I never meant to hurt you
I guess the reason why I went away
Was because I was afraid
That one day you’d go astray

Man Missing — he’s done a Lord Lucan
I bet the ambulance chasers are running as fast as they can

I never meant to hurt you
I guess the reason why I went away
Was because I was afraid
That one day you’d go astray
I never meant to hurt you