It’s Friday, so not only is it the end of the working week but it’s the day of the week where new music is released in droves, and amongst the crop of veritable album releases this week features the brand new album by indie gods, Reverend & The Makers. The latest album ‘The Death Of A King’ is the sixth studio record by the Sheffield natives and finds itself being released almost ten years to the day since they released their debut album ‘The State Of Things’, which of course featured the now legendary indie anthem ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The World’.
So with a full ten years between their first and sixth studio albums, what’s changed? What does the new album have to offer? Does it compare with their earlier work?
No it doesn’t, and rightfully so. With the ten year gap, they’ve evolved, matured, mastered their sound and figured out how to create a diverse and interesting LP. The album weaves effortlessly from one vibe to another, sounding worldly and experimental before chopping off heads with gritty guitar riffs and reverbed vocals, shouting poetically crafted lyrics at you with a tone that demands attention and respect whilst sounding like more of a public service announcement than just another song and all the way remaining as cool as they’ve always been. The greatest example of this is the wonderfully fun contrast between ‘Too Tough To Die’ and the following track ‘Carlene’. A hoppy and bright, one minute long piano led track, sounding like something straight off of the stage in an old western movie. Each song on the album carries its own weight whether it be due to it’s classic indie styling, it’s unique approach or its unexpected and off the wall content such as grand guitar solos or the minimalism of an instrumental. ‘The Death Of A King’ appears to have it all and with the mind of Jon McClure behind the project, it’s hardly a surprise, in fact it’s a bit of a given. As we approach the back end of the album, the depth continues, if not widens as they include strings and obscure sounds plus a varying of the vocal sound, inviting others to take centre stage, including a very welcome cameo by legendary, iconic poet John Cooper Clarke, as he smothers his own brand of wit, charm and down to earth, working class insight to the last track ‘You Can Have It All’.
With some of the bands that fronted the indie wave back in the mid 2000’s, some went on to superstardom, of course, but many faded into obscurity, and considering that was the last truly great period for guitar music, its an incredible shame that bands like The Kooks and Hard-Fi to name a few didn’t manage to maintain the popularity they had back then. However for Reverend & The Makers, their relevance is probably at an all time high, with McClure making thousands of appearances around the country, dipping his toe into political commentary during the latest general election and of course, recording a fantastic new album, which is really what it’s all about, the music. McClure has also been making intimate appearances around the country, playing in unusual and small settings, giving back to the fans in the most perfect way possible, so maybe, if you’re reading this, you should go and grab the album, because he may well pay a visit to your hometown….
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)