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The State of Things (3/10)


Right, I was down the precinct, talking to this bird on Facebook on my mobile phone, drinking a blue WKD and clutching an ASBO.  I'm dreaming of Marbella, who may be a bird or a place, I'm too numbed by my nine to five to care.  It's all so very modern isn't it?


Or so think REVEREND AND THE MAKERS, who have turned out to be nothing more than a one-trick pony mixed in with jaded modern-living rhetoric.  So 'Heavyweight Champion of the World' was just Ian Brown gone a bit disco, but it was a good indie-pop tune.  Something you can sing along to on a Friday when you're three sheets to the wind.  A tune made for XFM to overplay for the next ten years.  'He Said He Loved Me' as a follow-up offered more of the same – a good standard tune, but this time with an annoying chorus that irritates more than it enamours.


So hopes for the album were muted, but there was the possibility that there may be some surprises on there.  Yet even modest expectations are disappointed when it comes to this album.  


Straight away we're into familiar territory with the opening lyrics from 'The State of Things' – yet another Sunday morning lament relating to small town boozing, casual sex and the stereotypical 'characters' that we can all relate to.  'The Machine' leads with the hook 'don't forget you can get off the conveyer-belt', a line so trite that even Hard-Fi would cringe a little.  At other times we are treated to tales of beered-up holidays abroad (18-30), gambling away your earnings (Bandits), and local slappers (What the Milkman Saw). 

Lyrically it's steeped in a GCSE English interpretation of Britishness, with references to Angie from Eastenders, Posh Spice and cans of Stella.  It's as if 1,000 cliche's for 2007 have been thrown in a bucket and pieced back together to create the lyrical content for 'The State of Things.'

Arctic Monkeys, among others, have shown how it's possible to be witty, satirical and eloquent when referencing their lives, and much of their appeal stems from that.  They make a connection.  It's obvious that RATM are trying to reach out to the same audience, but we can see them coming a mile off.  It's a little bit Jamie T, as well, to try and appeal to a whole other sector within the sector.  It's an album with an audience in mind.  It's also an album that fails to meet this audience.


The whole experience is one dimensional – a series of casio-keyboard nightmares overdubbed with self-satisfied, novelty lyrics.  This isn't music to endure – it's contrived, uninspiring and largely inane.  They're obviously meant to raise a wry smile to the everyday life that every act vying for chart success is trying to do (there are plenty of London accents chiming in on the album to appease those that simply can't get enough of the Penate's and the Nash's), but they leave you looking around to others to confirm that yes, it really is that bad.   


The musical equivalent of the books they sell on the counter of HMV.  Well 'is it just me or are Reverend and the Makers shit?'