Thursday, 27 September 2007

The State of Things - Reverend and the Makers

It starts with an electronic choir, epic and patronising, some wise words of wisdom, a "little introduction to the state of things". Cheesy drum machine, and then finally kicks in the true appeal of this Sheffield-grown six-piece kicks in: a wonderful, danceable bass.

There has been a degree of hype around Reverend and The Makers in recent months. An association with Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys (who lends here one each of a guest vocal and guitar spot, in return for some lyrical help on their second album) and Jon McClure's considered and outspoken political opinions have lent them a degree of coverage in the music press. Those familiar with demo Ten Songs may be disappointed with how much more they sound like an Ian Brown solo outfit here.

First single "Heavyweight Champion of the World" is a brilliant piece of dance-pop that rightfully reached the UK top ten, but follow-up "He Said He Loved Me" is a complete disaster. What, on demo, had potential for comedy cross-over here has become plain annoying, all chavvy accents and cud-chewing. Fortunately it's the low point on an otherwise solid, if occasionally monotone album.

"The Machine", featuring Turner is good; "Bandits" is better, featuring a variety of different voices enacting some kind of three minute musical about being "skint and demoralised". "Open Your Window" is in the vein of "Heavyweight...", but bracketed by some wonderful guest vocal work reminiscent of Play-era Moby.

In the usual Arctic Monkeys tradition of a mid-album slow number, "Sex With The Ex" is predictably sweet, followed by "18-30" which is the angriest song, spewing bile over 'Brits-abroad' mentalities (a better, longer version was heard as an early B-side). "What The Milkman Saw" is kinky, "Sundown On The Empire" sounds dub, and "Miss Brown" is some kind of upbeat comedy ballad.

By the time you listen to spectacular album closer "Armchair Detective", which attacks, well, people like me (or rather those who cram their uninformed opinions down other's throats, I'll leave that up to you) and sounds exactly like Ian Brown, you might not quite believe the hype, but you'll have enjoyed finding that out for yourself.


ellen said...

I need to borrow this album. Please :)

CQ said...

Cheeky! Brain Grass of course in no way endorses illegally copying of CDs, so I suggest you buy your own copy. Honestly, some people.