Like a wayward Smiths song dismissed from the catalogue for being too good-natured, “No Man Needs to Care” has a determined jangly jauntiness to it and more going on with the guitars then its seemingly two-chord framework might suggest. And if “No man needs to care/About another man’s hair” is not a Smiths lyric it’s only because Morrissey never thought of it.
It takes a special kind of song to manage to be so charming while stuck so pointedly in one groove, one melody, and, all too often, one repeated phrase. I’m not sure even why I like this so much, except that I completely do. On the one hand it shows you what a strong beginning and a strong closing in a three-minute, fifty-second song can do for you: the opening lyric is an unexpected delight (“Well I was reading my book/Just so that everyone would come take a look”), the closing guitar freakout 24 seconds of noisy joy. In between, well, we get that personable, recycling guitar line, and front man Nigel Chapman’s insistent yet somehow still soft-spoken presence. He’s in our face but his face is reading his book. And if you pay attention you may see that he is hiding a much more involved story in his simple, repetitive lyrics. And can I say what a good strong so-retro-it’s-up-to-date rocker name that is, Nigel Chapman? Buy his records just because his name is Nigel Chapman.
Nap Eyes is a foursome from Halifax. They’ve been around a couple of years, and have two previous EPs to their name. “No Man Needs to Care” is a track from the waggishly titled Whine of the Mystics, their debut full-length, released on Plastic Factory Records in March. You can listen to the whole record on Bandcamp, and buy it there too, at a price of your choosing.