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. “All we care about is a little bit of bump and grind!” goes the opening Bass Line, backing up its lyrical salvos with a subterranean, saw-like groove that gives the subwoofers plenty to think about. It becomes the first part of a strong opening trio, completed by Out Of The Shadows and Shine The Light, and all three find the Rev on good lyrical form, hitting his target square between the eyes.
Perhaps inevitably after such a strong start inconsistency creeps in, but the songs that are less effective retain plenty of charm and likeability. Warts N All is an ironic love letter, saying that no matter how rough you might look in the morning the love is still there, and despite its obvious nods to Ian Brown in the verse it retains a rogueish smile and an appealing sense of humour. Depthcharge is another experiment, the Reverend offering his own variant on dubstep which proves to be a lot more dub than step – but it rescues itself by burrowing through the floorboards with another huge bass sound.
The Wrestler puts us back on track, another strong piece of work, confidently delivered – a companion piece, if you like, to Heavyweight Champion Of The World, even if it lacks that song’s ultimate staying power. It still does enough to prove McClure hasn’t lost his songwriting zeal, and it wears the emotional scars with pride.
The only real complaint about the album is its brevity – 10 songs that clock in at just half an hour, which for a while seems short value until you realise it means you get to play Bass Line, Out Of The Shadows and Shine The Light again. To be honest, the album is worth it for those three tracks alone – tracks that confirm Jon McClure to be back on track once again. As an album @Reverend_Makers provides infectiously good spirits, a good bit of Sheffield steel and a nice dash of humour here and there too, delivered with a dose of urban grit. It offers some musical prosperity in these times of, um, austerity. What next? England to win Euro 2012? Stranger things have happened…