First time reissue of the totally unknown and lone 7” from the North East of England’s Model Workers. Originally released in 1981 on their own Make it Yourself label, and issued in three different coloured sleeves, the original two track 7” is as rare as it is great.
This reissue adds two further songs from the ‘Model Workmanship’ demo from 1980, making it a classic four track EP. Model Workers deal in angular pop with a clear punk edge, with lead track ‘My Winter of Discontent’ being a pure DIY gem that is tight and jangly, and has the same feel as an early Television Personalties or The Times 7” or even a home recorded demo by the Jam. Had it been a Whaam! label release back in the day, Model Workers would have been a household name. But as it turned out Model Workers lifespan was short, burying the band into obscurity and turning the record into a DIY want list staple for 40 years.
This reissue comes in an 8 page booklet sleeve including paper clips, band pictures and other band’s ephemera.
Our take: Sealed Records brings us an expanded reissue of this little-known 1981 single by Model Workers, a young punk-inspired band based in Gateshead in northeast England. When I re-read the label’s description of Cry just before sitting down to write this piece, I found they hit the nail on the head with their comparisons, naming the exact three bands I was planning on comparing Model Workers to: (early) Television Personalities, the Times, and the Jam. Any listener who carries an abiding love for the TVPs’ first few singles and album will flip immediately for Model Workers’ rough but clear production, heart-on-sleeve lead vocals, and strong, somewhat busy bass lines. The latter two qualities were also a big part of the Jam’s sound, and Model Workers sound a lot like a garage-band version of the Jam, and even if they don’t match the Jam’s (admittedly peerless) songwriting and musicianship, they clearly set the bar for themselves much higher than many similar bands did. Sealed Records’ reissue includes both songs from the original (highly collectible) Modern Workers single, adds two cuts from an early cassette demo with similar (perhaps slightly rougher) production, and expands the sleeve into a booklet with clippings from vintage local press coverage of the group. The two additional tracks are excellent, with “You’re So Special” following the Jam’s lead in experimenting with some Motown influences. Like the best UKDIY music, Cry both crackles with punk’s raw energy and delivers the timeless sensual thrills of pure pop.