Bristol-based band Langkamer are back to blow away the pandemic blues with their new song “The Ugliest Man In Bristol”. Far from the humorous tale that the title suggests, “The Ugliest Man In Bristol” is a (somewhat) earnest song about self acceptance. Drummer and vocalist Josh Jarman says:
“Although I did spend a long, long time hating my appearance, this track isn’t entirely about corporeal aesthetics. Ugliness is more than that. It’s in your thoughts and in your soul. It’s so easy to hate yourself, especially in our diseased society. I think that self-hate is maybe the default state for humans, and a lot of people spend their whole life trying to settle that score. This song is about the moment when you finally bury that hatchet, when you learn who you really are and say to yourself ‘I’m okay with it’. Once you do that, a lot of things start to fall into place.“
Rattling along on a rickety outlaw post-punk sound, “The Ugliest Man In Bristol” begins with Josh in the pits of despair, as if he thinks he’s so damn ugly that people whisper about him behind saloon doors. However, with the energy and spirit of Langkamer backing him with gung-ho and combusting abandon, he blows through this negativity and comes to a place of self acceptance, wild brass squiggles and cowboy “woo!”s adding momentum. The galloping track takes a moment to break it down, Josh explaining what he’s learned: “any person is not their packaging / and I’ve heard it said that peace is already within you / so I learned to see myself like a pearl inside a shell.” With those lessons learned, Langkamer pile back in for the final ho down, the proclamation “I was the ugliest man in Bristol” bandied about atop the moshing masses as the throwaway thought it is.