EP Review: 9 o’clock Nasty – Mickey Humper, A Pocket Opera

We love Leicester-based 9 o’clock Nasty here at York Calling. We’ve frequently featured their music, both on their own, and their collaborations with others. Their latest is the latter, a short EP with The Qwarks. It’s called Mickey Humper, A Pocket Opera.

By Graeme Smith

Mickey Humper, A Pocket Opera is about love. But, in true 9 o’clock Nasty-style, it’s a sick kind of love, inspired by the story of a dog called Ludo and his favourite Mickey toy. I’m sure you can work out the rest. The EP features two versions of the Mickey Humper story – Mickey Humper by The Qwarks and Mickey Humpper by 9 o’clock Nasty.

The Qwarks’ version is jangly and swaggering. You can almost see the wiggle of Ludo’s backside in its rhythm. Expressive vocals tell the tale of twisted love with the perfect mix of tongue-in-cheek sincerity. Despite its amusing lyrical content, Mickey Humper is a seriously put-together rock song, with an earworm chorus and a vibrant rock energy.

Mickey Humpper by 9 o’clock Nasty gives us a twist on a pep rally chant as per Toni Basil’s cheesy masterpiece Mickey. It’s infused with some good of fashioned British sensibilities and minimal lyrics gives us all we need to know about Ludo and his favourite toy. New music from 9 o’clock Nasty is always exciting because no matter how many of their tracks you listen to, they continue to suprise.

The crazy capers of 9 o’clock Nasty and friends will never cease to entertain, but the band and their collaborators do bring a message with their music too. In true punk fashion, they stick two fingers up to conformity and bury that message in the most unexpected places. We need more 9 o’clock Nasties in this world, and this EP also proves to be a wonderful introduction to their comrades The Qwarks for us.