Cherry Red (label)
21 April 2021 (released)
14 May 2021
If you think that oppositional music originated with the punks, you would be wrong. There is a rich vein of ‘music of the anti’ that goes back to bands such as Edgar Broughton, Pink Fairies and The Social Deviants – all part of the Agitprop of late sixties and early seventies underground.
Luke Haines harkens back to those days and his latest ‘state of the nation’ album is full of sardonic snottiness as well as a sharply edged view of the world.
Haines was the founder of the Auters as well as with previous solo efforts such as Baader Meinhoff and while he has a great sense for a melody or a pop hook he never falls into the trap of straight pop music – every track has meaning.
There is no definable ‘sound’ to accuse him of – ‘Ex Stasi Spy’ is an acoustic singer/songwriter style and leads into ‘U-Boat, Baby’ which you could almost place at Iggy & The Stooges door while ‘Never Going Back To Liverpool’ has intimations of Brit-pop (a genre Haines claims to have virtually invented – not without good reason).
Personal favourite – ‘Ivor On The Bus’ a song about a wonderful British original, Ivor Cutler, that catches much of the character of that wonderful man.
He has a great way with words as well as being a skilful musician and every song bears listening closely to – there is real subtlety here.
One of the more interesting releases of recent times and if you get music that has more than stock themes and lyrics then it could well be up your alley.