I’m not gonna lie, I feel like a scumbag after listening to this: I was almost completely certain it was going to be a steaming pile of shit, in its entirety. I mean, some of it is not to my taste, but it’s mostly always enjoyable and above decent for the most part.
Reverend and the Makers, long-toothed mainstays responsible for now-slightly-stomach-churning hooj choons of the *sicks* ‘British indie boom years’ between 2005 and 2008 like ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World‘, ‘He Said He Loved Me‘ and a Song From That Advert Which Was Probably Quite Good But I Don’t Remember Fully.
Death Of A King is the band’s latest effort, coming after the seemingly well received, enjoyable but largely ignored Mirrors, released in 2015 (I mean, I certainly didn’t listen to it or hear of it). That’s the problem, I guess, for the Reverend and the Makers, The Ting Tings and the The Go! Teams of this world in 2017; the memory of that time may make you want to do a violent sick, but there’s still the distinct possibility you might make a decent album…how do you make the scumbags who were in their 20s at that time but now just want the whole world to combust in a nuclear apocalypse listen with welcoming ears?
If you like, this album passes for an accurate algorithm, delivering a workmanlike, convincing musical VR medley of tunes by bands such as Royal Blood, Kasabian, The Verve, Oasis and – whelp – Kula Shaker. Although an obvious comparison, the band’s similarity to the Arctic Monkeys, who have a close relationship with the band , is probably the most rich and enjoyable one of them all, and so really doesn’t feel forced or unpleasant.
‘Too Tough to Die‘ – despite it’s “oh fuck, is that a sitar” intro – proper bangs. Jon McClure – the titular Reverend – gnaws and shouts the topsy-turvy lyrics into the mic, and it contains a satisfyingly filthy riff throughout. The lyrics, like “you piss on my shoes and tell me it’s rain” are also good value.
‘Juliet Knows‘ is my personal highlight; I think it’s a beautiful song. It sounds like Cast and could well have been sung by The Coral‘s James Skelly, so appears elsewhere.
Breathers like the pleasant instrumental ‘Bang Saray‘ and the slight, sweet sketch ‘Carlene‘ add a texture and reflection to which otherwise would have been too stodgy and busy a listen.
Obviously there’s some shit on here (bit harsh? – Albums Ed). Unsure what was on earth was being attempted on ‘Black Cat‘, but it sounds a bit like Noel Fielding; this is intended as a devastating insult.
However, good or bad, it always seems authentic and above par in terms of production and musicianship.They may not be the heavyweight champions of the world, but – *gets shot in head due to excessive cliche*. Thanks for reading.
Death Of A King is out now on Cooking Vinyl.