Wrote a review of the album: I'm not going to write about The King Blues' past and changes in the band leading up to this album, since those of you interested in this probably have a good idea what they've all been through. Itch and Jamie have had kids, there has been many personel changes within the band, and also a maturity that is not seen in past king blues records.So, on with the album:The album kicks off with the huge opener (and what people know as the intro to We Are Fucking Angry), Last Of The Dreamers; a poem, come album introduction where Itch adresses those that the album is for. The likes of 'For the romantic killer who's never been caught' makes me question why he's making an album for a killer and its shows the dark foundations of this record extremely early on. Though some of the lyrics are slightly odd, it is a massive tune and a brilliant opener. This song kicks off probably the most contraversial song on the album, We Are Fucking Angry. The beauty of The King Blues was their charisma and charecter. There was subtlety in their lyrics and they were clever enough to make a point without being crass or just nasty about it. The anger infused within this album will also change their audiance's atmosphere from the feeling of rioteoughs love and unity to just a cold riot. It invites agressive skinheads to their gigs and in my opinion the gigs haven't been the same since.Set The World On Fire is an absolutely brilliant song and, although the productions lacks the raw energy of STWGTG, wouldn't fit out of place on it's predescessor along with My Boulder and the title track. The lyrics are, again, slightly agressive but the celebratory and angry fusion of tune and lyrics are classic old school punk. Put Tim Armstrong on vocals and change the production and it wouldn't feel out of place on a Rancid album.Dancehall is almost a break in the album. It is a brilliant concept, yet the lyrics are slightly strange again, and too many 50 second tunes stop the flow that albums should have.The Future's Not What It Used To Be is a brilliant song infused with The Skints' Marcia Richards' eery flute and hammond melodies and Kat Marsh's brilliant funky bass lines. The lyrics are sharp and observant; 'the school girls dress like hookers, the hookers dress like school girls' and Itch hasn't lost his passion for the underground beauty of london and those that are left behind in the gutter. It sounds alot like a modern 'Man at C&A' or 'Ghost Town' by The Specials.Along with Set The World On Fire, I Want You wouldn't sound out of place on STWGTG. It is probably the highlight of the album and is just about the only song about love instead of hate. If the production was slightly rawer and the lyrics were sung slightly, this could be an absolute classic. 5 Bottles of Shampoo is one of my biggest disapointments on the album. The pasionate version everyone knows from gigs is replaced with a lacklusture version with watered down lyrics that don't match its earlier version. Like most songs on this album, the production has made it loose its raw energy and power; and the original, that hundreds of fans fell in love with, has lost its charm.Sex Education is a massive tune that you could see people marching to, bellowing at the top of their voices. Being The Future's Not What It Used To Be's sister, it has similar melodies and bass lines. Add that to dark lyrics, again, with a few witty moments, and a huge chorus. Brilliant song.Along with I Want You and Set The World On Fire, Shooting Fascists is definately a favourite. In this sweet song with, probably, the darkest lyrics of them all, Itch brings out his ukelele and the voice that his fans know and love, to sing a ditty about his grandad shooting fascists, during the Second World War, instead of voting for them. If this was a propper song, it would ,without a doubt, be the best on the album. The viciousness of the lyrics and the sweetness and helpless of the tune makes it almost comedic and has me laughing every time I hear it.Headbutt. Having, probably, the most stupid lyrics on the album, is one of the lowlights in my opinion. Although I say this, the lyrics in the verse aren't bad, and with that catchy hook in the chorus, it is a crowd favourite at gigs. Like a few others on the album, if they changed the production, it could be brilliant. Does Anybody Care About Us could, yet again, be a great song. Yet with the ridiculous over the top production, muted guitars and stupid harmonies; it sounds more like a stadium rock fail, along the lines of Bon Jovi, or U2... ( I don't really know that kind of genre very well, so forgive me if I'm wrong). My mate said, on his first listen, that it sounds like somethinf off Glee, and he's not far wrong.
Now, for the biggest disapointment of the album; Everything Happens For A Reason. I heard this song originally in Banquet Records, played acoustically. It was beautiful and I immediately fell in love with it. There was the charm, the charisma, the slight fun and 'joki-ness' in the lyrics. It wasn't a big song, it was beautifully subtle, yet its catchy tune stuck in my head for weeks on end. This is non-existant in the most hilarious song I've ever heard by The King Blues. The start is completely ridiculous, with harmonies that make it sound like a ridiculous chart-esque kind of song. It improves when the guitar kicks in yet it is still dire compared to its original. The rest of the song is ok, until the end. I thought they'd just about got away with it, without making it into a total joke, until the last chorus. Itch's usual london sing/talk voice is replaced with a ridiculous emo, pop punk screech that I can't bare to listen to. It makes the song naff, ridiculous and is a complete piss take.
Though my review isn't the most complimentary in the world, there is still some moments of pure genius, and after seeing them in Fopp last Wednesday they seem to be the same brilliant people they always were. Some of the songwriting is genius and I'm not faulting that at all. It's just the production thats the problem. Get rid of the muted guitars, ridiculous harmonies and screechy vocals, get their old acoustic, raw sound that was full of energy and passion back and you could have a brilliant album. I know that many personel changes has led to a bit of a strange sound and a disjointed album, and things haven't been great over the last few years for them yet i believe they could have done better. Itch has said many times that he wants their sound to progress and he wants to explore different sounds, but The King Blues have slightly lost their roots, and with that probably a lot of original fans, with this album; and it'd be hard now for them to win them back. Another problem is, I think this album has been too based on Itch, and although a fantastic frontman, you can see, just by loooking in the album booklet that it seems to be all about him. To win their original fans back is not beyond them; they have the charm and charisma, they have the songwriting and playing ability, they have the great influences and they have brilliant lyrics that are still full of passion. Itch said that they wanted to make an album that means something, and the most important thing is that they still believe. Itch also said he wanted an album to riot to, just don't loose the love!
(I rushed the ending, not great but yeah, my opinion on the album)
Love, Unity & Anarchy x