Texas post-punk trio Don’t Get Lemon release the song of the Euros. The pounding drums and screeching guitar on their new single and accompanying video, Working Man’s Ballet, could equally be heard ringing out over a football pitch’s speakers or in a sweaty nightclub. The track is about Alan Hudson, a footballer from the 70s, and the title comes from his autobiography of the same name. It’s what one of his former managers called football, “The Working Man’s Ballet.”
“We thought that phrase was so rich and so loaded,” states the band. “The dichotomy of the working-class and extreme wealth, masculinity and femininity, just a silly game and high art.”
It’s rebellious. Hudson was young and talented but also didn’t shy away from a good time, and the conservative English team set up couldn’t deal with someone who had flair, flamboyance, and personality. The video also showcases this disconnect by continuously attacking us with graceless disco dancing – footballers and supporters boozing up and hitting the dance floor each Friday night before a match. Watch the Working Man’s Ballet video clip via YouTube below.
“We think average fans are attracted to things larger than life and filled with character,” Don’t Get Lemon continues, “and that’s what makes the release of football on a Saturday so thrilling. It’s an affirmation of life and community away from a soulless existence of harrowing knowledge that your adult life is spent selling your labor for someone else to take advantage of.”
Football is beautiful and ugly, always vibrant and sometimes dull, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but meaning everything. It’s not dissimilar from pop music, it’s seen as throwaway entertainment that’s been sold to us and sterilized but both things can deeply resonate with a person, they go hand in hand. A pop song and football game can both change the course of ordinary lives.
As the listener steps onto the pitch and allows the band’s cascading sound to wash over, it’ll be no surprise Don’t Get Lemon caught the attention of à La Carte Records. The label is releasing Working Man’s Ballet on Flexi Disc after previously releasing the band’s ‘Forward Not Forgetting’ EP on cassette. À La Carte Records has also worked with True Faith’s ‘Waiting on the Wrong Time’ on vinyl, and has announced working with Old Moon, The Violent Youth, and Tragic Figures.
Don’t Get Lemon — also known as DGL for short — soundtracks our navigation through the pitfalls of modern life with their brand of gothic realism, creating a lush and introspective mixture of post-punk, synth-pop, and new wave.
“With Working Man’s Ballet, we wanted to write a song that was an earworm, something catchy that you’d find yourself singing along to or humming randomly, even weeks after listening,” they add. “We aimed to make a memorable pop song, using a classic pop format, but with added layered noise texture and fast-paced, almost rubbery drums. The result is a song that feels futuristic, yet also in debt to our decidedly 80’s influence and even 60’s bubblegum pop. We even joked about making a World Cup song like New Order’s ‘World In Motion,’ but for the 2026 World Cup here in the USA.”
They’ve instead set their sights on the 2021 Euros.
Working Man’s Ballet is out now via Bandcamp along with an upcoming remix by M!R!M.