Feature: Jack Foley
YOU Are The Quarry, the seventh solo studio album from Morrissey,
will be released on the singers own Attack imprint, via
his new deal with Sanctuary Records, on Monday, May 17.
Recorded with producer, Jerry Finn, in London and Los Angeles,
the eagerly-anticipated album is the singers first new work
for seven years, and is hotly-anticipated following airing of
some of the material on his triumphant homecoming UK gigs, late
It is being touted as Morrisseys most essential work since,
at least, Vauxhall & I, if not his debut, Viva Hate, and marks
his first (including The Smiths albums) to be recorded in the
studio as a band.
The change was wrought by Jerry Finn (Blink 182, Green Day and
AFI), who comments: "Instead of trying to create the music
around Morrissey's vocals, which is how it used to be done, we
had everyone in the studio at the same time, which made the creative
process much easier."
You Are The Quarry is also the first Morrissey album to be written
since the singer, who boasts a perennial sense of not-belonging,
moved to California, and this sense of alienation almost inevitably
crops up from the outset.
Album opener, America Is Not The World, is billed as a conflicted
love letter to his new home, using four verses of hilarious and
heartfelt character assassination directed at all-points West,
and taking in cultural imperialism, over-consumption and racial/sexual
It is quickly followed by the two-and-a-half minute single, Irish
Blood, English Heart, a steel-toed kicking directed at the powers
that be this side of the Atlantic.
As controversial and fearless as ever, Morrissey dreams of time
when To be English is not to be baneful / To be standing
by the flag not feeling shameful / Racist or partial, before
going on to berate politicians of every hue, as well as the man
who started it all, Oliver Cromwell, and, of course, her indoors
at the palace.
Next under the Morrissey microscope is religion, with the emotive
track, I Have Forgiven Jesus, in which he claims to forgive JC
for all the desire he placed in me / When theres nothing
I can do with this desire.
The song goes on to relate a diary, which reads: "Monday:
humiliation / Tuesday: suffocation / Wednesday: condescension
/ Thursday: is pathetic / By Friday life has killed me".
Of the other tracks, The First Of the Gang To Die highlights
the artists two-way fascination with Californias Mexican
Hailed in the publicity as an obvious single, it
details the demise of its impetuous anti-hero, Hector, and contains
lines such as: "He stole from the rich / And the poor / And
the not very rich / And the very poor."
For much of the album, Morrissey is backed by long-time collaborators,
Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte, on guitars, and newer recruits, Gary
Day and Dean Butterworth, on bass and drums, respectively.
All songs are written by Morrissey/Whyte.
Attack Records, meanwhile, is a Seventies reggae imprint acquired
by Sanctuary along with their purchase of Trojan.
Explains Morrissey: "I've been a fan of the Attack label
for quite some time. I have a Gregory Isaacs seven-inch on my
refrigerator. I told Sanctuary that I wanted to re-launch the
label and have You Are The Quarry released on Attack and they
Never one to rest on his laurels, Morrissey will also recruit
and sign new talent to Attack, as well as accepting the role of
artistic director for this years Meltdown Festival, on Londons