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.
In Jon McClure, the band has a confident and opinionated frontman. McClure walks the line quite deliberately between being full of himself and full of shit. He’s most convincing with the former and this shows in charismatic live performances. The same brand of energy runs through this record, which mashes indie guitars, synths and dance rhythms in a clever twist. It sparks into life with a healthy dose of nihilism meets escapism in “Bassline”. “All the Mondays spent craving for Friday’s highs / All the people want is but the bassline” is McClure’s clarion cry and the band goes on to deliver three minutes of irresistible synth-driven grind.
McClure’s big northern soul voice glides through the register with aplomb and the party just goes on from there, spirits lifted higher by the euphoric “Out Of The Shadows”. Again lyrics like “I’m coming out of the shadows / I’m coming into the light” may not win an Ivor but the sentiments are instantly recognised by anyone who has been down when they could have been flying high. The 90’s big beat of “Shine The Light” rounds off an impressive opening salvo and a couple of misses apart (dubious dubstep of “Depthcharge” and a too obvious “Noisy Neighbour”) this is a party you’ll want to stay at till the end.
Elsewhere, “Warts N All” provides a nicely ironic view of girls competing in the looking-good stakes while “Yes You Do”, a gentle paean to McClure’s wife (and the band’s keyboard player), Laura, and the chilled closing track, “What Goes Around”, provide welcome comedown moments. All in all this is a refreshing, infectious, and unpretentious album that’s big on sound.
Essential Tracks: “Out Of The Shadows”, “Warts N All”, and “Yes You Do”