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Reverend & The Makers - A French Kiss In The Chaos

Reverend & The Makers, A French Kiss In The Chaos

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

JOHN McClure, one time writing partner of the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, threatened to quit music after the release of his band’s debut album, The State of Things – fortunately, he didn’t.

The sophomore effort, A French Kiss In The Chaos, is the sound of a band that’s clearly progressing well. It’s a hip indie offering that also embraces elements of ’60s psychadelia and elements of Madchester, with a little Primal Scream thrown in for good measure.

The hits fly thick and fast. Former single Silence Is Talking kicks things off in exemplary fashion, amid distorted guitar licks, a shuffling buzzy beat and a cheeky refrain from War’s funk classic Low Rider. It’s brilliantly inspiring and really sets up the album well.

Fortunately, most of the rest delivers on the early potential. Hidden Persuaders is a sleek nostalgia trip laced with psychadelic tendencies that combines guitars with horns to pleasing effect, while No Wood Just Trees eases you in with another horn intro, before hitting a funky bassline groove.

Admittedly, trippy indulgences such as Professor Pickles seem like ill-advised flights of fancy that flirt with Kula Shaker tendencies, but they’re kept to a minimum, and the album comes back strong with efforts like Long Long Time, a moody, piano-soaked ballad that soundchecks Primal Scream.

The down tempo vibe continues briefly into No Soap In Dirty War, which slows builds beautifully into a folksy, layered offering that includes one of the album’s strongest choruses and lushest backdrops.

Manifesto/People Shapers, meanwhile, emerges as another highlight, a moody, tempo changing, evocative offering that’s shot through with a throbbing bassline and sprawling guitar riffs and organs. By the time it hits its military sounding strut around the three minute mark, you’ll be totally sold.

The End, meanwhile, hits a funky shuffle that’s impossible not to tap your feet along with, while album closer Hard Time For Dreamers ends things as strongly as it starts with a thought-provoking observation on global concerns that slow builds in enthralling style.

All in all, it’s compulsive listening.

Download picks: Silence Is Talking, Hidden Persuaders, No Soap in Dirty Water, Hard Time For Dreamers, Manifesto/People Shapers

Track listing:

  1. Silence Is Talking
  2. Hidden Persuaders
  3. No Wood Just Trees
  4. Professor Pickles
  5. Long Long Time
  6. No Soap In A Dirty War
  7. Manifesto/People Shapers
  8. Mermaids
  9. The End
  10. Hard Time For Dreamers