Crywank – ‘Fist Me ‘til Your Hand Comes Out My Mouth’

By Tom Walsh

After over a decade of delivering a unique brand of “anti-folk”, Crywank are calling it a day. Should this be the last time our paths cross with the Manchester duo, then ‘Fist Me ‘til Your Hand Comes Out My Mouth’ encapsulates the entire chaotic, and often confusing, mantra of their work.

Spread over 27 songs, it lurches between conceptual storytelling to muffled ramblings about a love of corduroy. It’d be remiss to think that the album could’ve merely been kept to the eight-part opening of ‘I Love You But I’ve Chosen Me’, which meanders through despairing musings on life (‘Part I: Bicker Man’) to devastating introspection (‘Part VIII: Mince (Hack Into The Mainframe)’) – that’s simply not how Crywank do things.

What follows is a crash course in the inner thinking of James Clayton and Daniel Watson, ranging from screaming about the beauty of a flower to the backdrop of drums seemingly falling down stairs (‘Flower In Hand’), to the onset of alien abduction (‘Time Away From Nosferatu’) and the Lancashire-accent heavy ‘The Yolk That Fell Out’, which channels the madcap stylings of Frank Sidebottom.

In amongst what can only be described as an eclectic release valve of sounds, there are more coherent efforts such as the poetic ‘Ego Is A Phoenix’ and the crooning ‘Cringey Wincer’. They bring a sense of levity to the carnage, but in a sense, you can kind of expect such bizarre tones from a band and album bearing names like these.

Therein lies the magic of Crywank – you simply aren’t able to figure out what the next move will be. ‘Fist Me ‘til Your Hand Comes Out My Mouth’ is laying down a gauntlet with every track, with no clear indication of what will happen next. What genre will they delve into and subject matter they take on is seemingly chosen on a whim, and then they’ll drop a wonderfully touching song like ‘Deep Down I’m Really Mark Smith’, which closes out this record.

In a world that is already swallowing itself, it will be left a little poorer once Crywank make their final curtain call. As a signing-off point, ‘Fist Me ‘til Your Hand Comes Out My Mouth’ is just so effortlessly, quintessentially Crywank. An album literally no-one else could’ve made or even attempted to replicate. Intriguing, baffling, challenging and, ultimately, endearing.

In their own words, “get pretty sad but try and stay rad”. Farewell lads.

TOM WALSH

Three more album reviews for you

COPE - 'THE SHOCK DOCTRINE'

Naked Next Door - 'Swerving Out Wide'

Non Canon - 'Non Canon II'