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A French Kiss In The Chaos
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Second album from the Sheffield band. This release follows on from their successful debut album, entitled 'The State of Things' and contains the single, 'Silence Is Talking'.
Best known for a connection with hometown pals Arctic Monkeys, Jon ‘Reverend’ McClure and his Makers finally offer tricky second album A French Kiss In The Chaos. Since 2007’s The State of Things McClure has threatened retirement, offered out the entire political class and given away an album (by his other band Mongrel) with a national newspaper. Given such distractions the follow-up is unsurprisingly somewhat mixed. Highlights include "Silence Is Talking", a proper indie disco stomper, with a pounding bassline and a nagging horn hook lifted from War’s Latin-funk favourite "Low Rider" and the excellently titled "No Soap In A Dirty War" which borrows a few lines from the Only Ones’ lost classic "Miles From Nowhere" and turns a break-up song into something unexpectedly gleeful. "Hidden Persuaders" is little more than a clumsy lesson that consumerism isn’t necessarily good for you (Jon McClure picked up the nickname ‘Reverend’ for his preachiness, after all). But "Professor Pickles" is straightforward psychedelia, all wheezy organ and slamming snare, "Long Long Time" is a sparse piano-led ballad, nearer to Richard Hawley than Alex Turner while BNP-berating "Manifesto/People Shapers" starts harsh and ends sweet. The closing "Hard Time For Dreamers" gives the game away--McClure voices his fears of war, a Tory government and rising sea levels like, realising that when the Smiths sang about death by double decker bus, they really feared a nuclear holocaust. A French Kiss In The Chaos is inconsistent and sometimes frustrating, but its quirky charm is irrepressible.--Steve Jelbert
Top customer reviews
I have been a fan of the band since they released the 10 songs demos were released, and since that time i have followed the band very closely.
A french kiss in the chaos is a collection of the best songs they have written since the state of things. Opener silence is talking has great lyirics with a great beat, and songs such as no wood just trees, no soap in a dirty war and hard time for dreamers are just some of the albums highlights. Many people might be put off by the political nature of the band, but this album is subtle in its message, and makes you think about issues raised rather than shove it down your throat. This is the best album of 2009, and i highly recommend it.
dreadful new album 'Foot Of The Mountain' it is
both a relief and a real pleasure to have had the
opportunity to hear Reverend and The Makers splendid
new collection 'A French Kiss In The Chaos'.
No frills, no fuss, high octane melodic rock of the highest calibre.
A little bit old-fashioned in the best possible way.
In Jon McClure the band have a talented and charismatic front man.
The force behind the fire. The bees knees. A big, bad, boss man.
What a great little band they are. Tight as a vice.
'No Wood Just Trees' is alone worth the price of the album.
The rhythm section and brass arrangement is electric.
The raw conviction of McClure's performance on 'Long Long Time',
at just two and a half minutes, is the album's highpoint.
A simple and simply beautiful song, beautifully sung.
'No Soap (In A Dirty War)', too, is a classy piece of writing.
Strong melody, rousing chorus and an ecstatic, driving conclusion.
(Arcade Fire at their elemental best came to mind).
'Manifesto / People Shapers' is a rapturous, echo-laden, incantation.
Politically charged voodoo for a spiritually challenged age.
'Hard Time For Dreamers' brings the album to a dark conclusion.
The song wears its heart on its sleeve. The sincerity is self-evident.
I'm A Believer.
Very Highly Recommended.
Certainly a number of critics have recently been suggesting that the `indie style' of rock - 3/4 minute social commentaries over a medium tempo, light dance/rock beat with little musical virtuosity - which has dominated this century, but could be traced back to the eighties, has run its course. The latest Kasabian album had `mixed' reviews, whilst Oasis have been under the critical cosh for far longer than they were loved. The indie style has certainly lasted longer than every previous pop musical genre: rock n roll, `Merseybeat', psychedelia, blues rock, folk rock, prog rock, heavy metal, glam rock, punk or new wave; but it could be argued that this is because it combines elements of all previous genres and is actually the end of the line as far as rock music goes. It could also be suggested that bands such as Rev & the Makers, Kasabian, Oasis, The Arctic Monkeys The Cribs, and the hundreds of other `indie' bands can't really be criticised for being unoriginal and derivative as there is nothing new under the sun. If one discounts the 'hardcore' prog rock groups such as Soft Machine and Van Der Graf Generator and their ilk, how many bands were truly original in their sound amongst popular groups who relied on songs rather than lengthy instrumentals with weird noises? The Velvet Underground, King Crimson, early Roxy Music before they became totally bland, Joy Division and perhaps Radiohead? Not a particularly long list. And certainly the VU and KC were not that popular.
I think all most bands and artists can do today is to try to produce good tunes as it's not really possible to be original and innovative. The problem is most good tunes have already been used and herein lies the problem.
Coming back to this album then, it is ultimately no better or worse than a host of other indie type albums. To compare it with other contemporary albums I have purchased this year - it is as good, if not better than the Franz Ferdinand and Kasabian releases, but less original than the Doves latest, however Doves are perhaps a more innovative band anyway.
I truly loved the first Rev & The Makers album, `The State of Things,' which was full of instantly catchy tunes and lyrics which did seem to be heavily influenced by the Arctic Monkeys. This release is perhaps not so instantly memorable with some less than catchy tunes and less obvious lyrics. There are a couple of slow songs in `Long Long Time' and `Hard Time For Dreamers,' although the latter is excellent and one of the best songs on the album. Unlike most modern albums which tend to start strongly then tail off with `filler' towards the end, this album starts with the weaker tracks and improves. The opening number `Silence Is Talking' begins with an unusual instrumental piece but after about thirty seconds settles into a typical indie groove reminiscent of the Charlatans or even the Happy Mondays. In fact the more I listen to Rev & The Makers, the more they remind me of the Happy Mondays. This opening number is also the longest on the album. The groove isn't that memorable and the track outstays its welcome by about 30 seconds. One of the better tracks `Hidden Persuaders' is up next with lyrics about consumerism and maybe this ought to have been the first single. The album then falls away somewhat. `Not Wood Just Trees' is the weakest track on the album, whilst the single `Professor Pickles' isn't that wonderful, although it has grown on me, whilst the aforementioned `Long Long Time' is no more than okay. Just as it looks like the album isn't going to match up anywhere near to its great predecessor things start to take a turn for the better. The next four tracks `No Soap in a Dirty War,' `Manifesto/People Shapers', `Mermaids' and `The End' are all catchy and memorable and are similar to the material on their first album, whilst as already stated the album ends on an excellent note with `Hard Time For Dreamers.'
I'm not sure where this band go from here, as they have consciously tried to evolve but ultimately this album isn't as strong as `The State Of Things'.
Now of course we're all waiting to see if the Arctic Monkey can maintain their standards.
I dont expect this album to reach the dizzy heights that it should do. It has excelled all of my expectations, and they are such a good live band.Great to see them support Oasis at Wembley Stadium. They went down really well.
The addition of Tom Rowley from the sorely missed Milburn is a great move from The Rev. The Backhanded Compliments frontman will make some great songs with The Rev. I just hope that John Mclure doesnt rekindle his idea to quit music again. Not many bands produce 2 great albums these days. RATM have. Lets hope there are more to come in the future.
There isn't a track that doesn't hit the spot - play it loud in your car and wait in anticipation for the third album.
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