We’re late to the party (literally, this album has been out a couple of weeks already) but we’re happy to commit their third album ‘Love Your Work’ to review because, well, it’s so damn good.
It’s the sound of new British music, cutting edge style – referencing Sleafords, Fontaine’s, Cabbage and Idles even, but wrapping it up in a something of the Dr. Feelgood (swell, they do count Wilko Johnsons son amongst their number) plays post-punk in the style of Wild Billy Childish of an accompaniment. What it does have is the ascerbic wit of Williamson, political commentary and observations of a Joe Talbot and barked/sung delivery of (well all of them to an extent, but especially) Grian Chatten.
What they do have is an ambition and an poke fun at / art school anger that stretches beyond their Southend roots – maybe the faded Edwardian glamour of this Brexit voting town bore those virtues. There’s no attempt to disguise or move away from these roots either, the songs sung in a Essex twang with the vanacular to match.
The brilliant Future Estates bears some of the brunt of this in the album – almost laugh out loud lyrics, hammered fingers in the chest put downs, sneering at, calling out the worthless aspirations of what would become the inhabitants of these estates over something that sounds like The Action might have owned it.
It’d be easy to point individual songs out, so I will briefly (I’m all for easy when it presents itself) – there’s the incredible, angular, sax blessed Onsie, the punk drive of Passive Aggressive, the downtrodden blues rock of Black Tide and more that catch the eye, but this is an album of remarkable consistency, both in the songwriting and the taught, inventive musicality – not least the glittering shards of guitar liberally spread across the album by the aforementioned Wilko’s son, Simon Johnson.
But this, despite taking the lead From, or at least stepping relatively close to, the similarly aforementioned contemporaries – Eight Rounds Rapid are their own men, and as such have written a gritty, funny, vicious, essential work for Bojo’s Britain. And we should be eternally grateful for it.