Release Date: Mar 5, 2013
Record label: The End
Austerity seems to be the word on everyone’s lips at the moment, whether it refers to the EU monetary crisis, life on the base line in Britain or even the English football team as they attempt to win back some fans. Jon McClure of Reverend And The Makers holds these and more issues close to his heart – as any follower of his on Twitter can bear witness to – but rather than rant about them and bring everyone down, as he threatened to do with the political railing of the Mongrel set-up, he has set about putting wrongs to rights through the sheer power of rhythm and song. @Reverend_Makers, probably the first album title to double as its maker’s Twitter name, is an attempt to blast all modern society’s ills out of the water and simply have a damned good party.
Having tried to stuff right-minded but clunky ‘George Bush = BAD’ politics down our throats with his last albums as side-project Mongrel and with the Makers themselves, this is Rev’s reaction to no-one ruddy listening. Happily, while we were expecting an opus about how the coalition government’s really lame, he’s delivered a relentless bosh-pop thump that’s more ‘Bonkers’ than bonkers. Most of it, from the vein-tingle rave-grind of ‘Bassline’, to the disco strings of ‘Out Of The Shadows’, to the ’90s big beat of ‘Shine The Light’, is a riot.
As one of the most politically charged bands to emerge from the mid-2000s indie explosion, it was always a problem that Sheffield quintet Reverend and the Makers' downfall was their politically charged lyrics. Their 2007 debut The State of Things and 2009's A French Kiss in the Chaos had the tunes but they were accompanied by a series of diatribes that were so "beginner's guide to politics" that it was hard to take loudmouth frontman Jon McClure even remotely seriously. Luckily, their Twitter-titled third album, @Reverend_Makers, suggests they have learned their lesson.
Calling your new album by your Twitter handle might suggest desperate self-publicity. Though in the case of UK five-piece Reverend and The Makers it signifies a nonchalant recognition of the modern world. These are songs of everyday lives, for people who are up for a good time, so anyone familiar with the band’s work and expecting a political message or two should wise up to a simpler expression of “This is life so get on with it.” In making this third studio album, the band has gone back to its roots and put together 10 upbeat tracks offering reasons to be cheerful.
The media blackout’s over. The curtain’s raised. Settle down and prepare for the enlightenment. Jon ‘The Reverend’ McClure takes centre stage. That little blue bird you’ve been seeing at the bottom of web pages? Hold tight – it’s called Twitter mate, and the Rev’s onto it. Except ….
When bands take a break from the touring circuit while working on new material, it can shroud their musical direction in mystery. With no live previews as such, indie rockers Reverend And The Makers prefaced the release of their third record ‘@Reverend_Makers’ with a mixtape of incomplete ideas and experimentation that left fans suspecting a more modern electronic vibe, which isn’t wholly off the mark. Opener ‘Bassline’ at first feels too different from their usual workings, with prominent synthesisers, big beats and a much harsher sound luring the listener into this record.