Pinchers - Lift It Up Again

1987, Vena Records

  1. Take Some Time

  2. Lyrics None Stop

  3. Dollyman

  4. Boops

  5. Nuh Worry Yourself

  6. I Love You

  7. I Am Gonna Be There

  8. Lift It Up Again

"Lift It Up Again" is a Fatis production, which is a good thing, because Fatis seems to be the producer with the most confident and convincing approach to the '87 style. The riddims are super clean on this record, which after a bit too much of the wonky lo-fi on some other records from '87 - "Identify Me" by King Kong, "Lyric Shop" by Papa San, "Mr. Excitement" by Mikey Jarrett, etc. - is very welcome. There are plenty of very nice and quite melodic riddims from this time that faded into obscurity immediately, and this record has a few to its name. Take Some Time's riddim is especially impressive, still very identifiably rub-a-dub but with very strong downbeats, all kinds of pretty and glistening countermelodies and vamps and licks, strung together in a way that still does not feel overproduced. Seventh chords can never be faulted in reggae music, they do wonders in the lover's rock genre, and a lot of that flavor is translated into this tune. It really is a masterpiece of semi-digital rub-a-dub, and Pinchers flings excellent melodies on the top. I have mentioned it before, but sometimes digital dancehall singers can be very disconnected to their riddims, and tunes like this, among the rest of this record, are reminders of just how good the digital singing style can really be. In a word, it's "pleasant".

Having a killer first tune always gets an LP played and high spirits flowing, and a killer second tune to back it up is a sign that you are in for a top shelf album. Lyrics None Stop is a great approach to the problem of inspiration and writer's block - Pinchers directly asks Jah Jah to inject them into his mind. The "I get the inspiration from God" stance is very common in music all over the world but I love how direct Pinchers is. "If you do inspire me, I'll be lyrically inclined", "Just put the words pon my tongue top". Dollyman is a word I have not been able to suss out the meaning of, there's another tune with the same name by Penny Irie - a very early tune for him, and well worth listening to - and it's an anthem tune with a proper fucked up gimmick. The hook goes "Dollyman one and dollyman two and dollyman three and four, dollyman five, dollyman six and dollyman seven and dollyman eight and nine", which on paper looks like a recipe for disaster but the nice thing about brilliant artists such as Pinchers is that he can make it convincing with musicianship.

All throughout this record you can hear Pinchers' signature belted-out fully-ornamented high note runs which come to a climax on the the title tune Lift It Up Again, upon a version of Answer that I believe is not a Fatis original, but maybe it is. I spent a good while during the writing of this post trying to track it down but no luck. If you know the story behind this cut please FORWARD a comment below. Lift It Up Again is one of Pinchers' early big hits, and the recognition is well-deserved. It's hard to make an impactful, original statement on Answer with the amount of wicked tunes that are on it, even back in '87, and you need to be in a higher category to pull it off. Soon after, Pinchers would recognise the success of Lift It Up Again with his tune Mass Out, which also has an LP titled after it, also done by Fatis, and released on RAS in 1987. And it has Take Some Time and Nuh Worry Yourself from this record!! The two are sisters for sure and both warrant a listen. Which one is better? Well "Mass Out" is longer and brings some wicked cuts - Meant To Be, Grammy, Mass Out and Christian Lady, plus the two aforementioned crucial tracks from "Lift It Up Again" puts us at 6 excellent tunes out of 10, while "Lift It Up Again" features 6 excellent tunes out of 8, after careful inspection by yours truly. Which is a higher TUNE to tune ratio, but less meat, and for better or worse, you miss out on the deliciously outdated goofiness of Nuthing No Deh, an out-of-tune singjay style duo with Frankie Paul. For what it's worth, the less-than-excellent tracks are better on "Lift It Up Again" are a cut or two above their counterparts on "Mass Out" as well, so I think it edges out as the better record. Blessed be the internet for allowing you to discover this information without having to actually listen to the music for yourself, please enjoy yourself as you indulge in some Pinchers on YouTube after closing this tab.

Bim count: 0

My picks: Take Some Time, Lyrics None Stop, Boops, Nuh Worry Yourself, Lift It Up Again

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