Mike Tyler: Money Grows On Your Knees

This music could only have been made by a New Yorker

  • Label: The Art Can Not Be Damaged
  • Format: single
  • Buy this record: Band's website
Rating: 5.7 out of 10
The cover image of Money Grows On Your Knees by Mike Tyler

Given that it's about thee-and-a-half thousand miles away, I'm not speaking with any authority when I talk of New York, but this bonkers single from New Yorker Mike Tyler epitomizes what I see as the 'east-coast American sensibility'. There's a long tradition of off-the-wall yanks getting a good reaction here in good ol' Blighty, and I gather Tyler rather enjoyed the reception he got the last time he came to London. The b-side to this single is all about that experience; ever the cynical New Yorker, Corny song is Tyler's way of dealing with how well his UK trip went, apparently. The song is, of course, rather nuts, with a strained delivery that oozes irony from every pore. And the a-side is no less crazy.

On Money Grows on Your Knees, which is taken from the Google-friendly LP Erection, Tyler adopts a more softly-softly approach. Here he's deadpan and pseudo-seductive, his voice lower, his tone more sinister. All the while he's backed by a primary-colours bed of god-awful synth brass and metronimic, dolls-eyes-dead drum loops. The female backing vocals add a little humanity, but there's little else to redeem the aesthetic here: jagged edges are definitely the order of the day. All in all, the sound is deeply unpleasant and strangely captivating.

The 7" version I've got came on fantastically garish green vinyl and the album art was made into a jigsaw, which was rather fun. And that idea pretty much encapsulates this release; definitely not normal, but still rather fun.

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