10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Great Album - On the Level !,
This review is from: Levellers (Audio CD)
Formed in Brighton in 1988, the band took their name from a radical grouping involved in the English Civil War. The original Levellers advocated republican politics and the freedom of worship. The band's music would be best described as a mixture of folk, rock and punk, with their lyrics displaying a keen social conscience. Probably as a result of this, they're commonly seen as the leading lights in the ‘crustie movement’ - and have been dismissed by many solely on the basis of this image.
Recorded in 1993, mostly at the Real World studio, this is the band's third album. Only one of the songs on the album - "Dirty Davey" - wasn't written by the band themselves. It was originally written and performed by another Brighton band called "McDermott's Two Hours". Two of my favourite tracks on the album - "This Garden" and "Julie" - were released as singles. "Julie" leans towards the folk side of things, largely acoustic and featuring the pipes and fiddle. "This Garden" again features the acoustic guitar and fiddle, but the didgeridoo and 'spoken' lyrics add a touch of urgency. The single was a top 20 hit in the UK and throughout Europe.
The album gets off to a great start, as the opening four tracks are excellent tunes. "Warning" and "100 Years of Solitude" are up-tempo tunes, with thumping bass-lines, punchy guitar playing and a violin that virtually growls at times. "The Likes of You and I" and "Is This Art" are a little more acoustic and laid back - like "Julie", they show's the band's folky influences coming to the fore.
Overall, I think this to be a very good album – it starts with at a high level with "Warning" and doesn’t dip. If you think you like the sound of a slighty more mainstream Pogues singing the songs of Billy Bragg, then I’d reckon you’ll like this album.