Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Grit - Straight Out The Alley
People Like You

Following up, and easily matching and surpassing, 2007’s Shall We Dine? (while making Rancid’s return rather redundant) despite the lack of tried and tested classics The Ones, Love Thy Neighbour, Whoever You Are and I Came Out The Womb An Angry Cunt, the Geordie / London bastard rockers rail at the state of the nation more fervently than they did before. Might lack Gallows’ column inches but there’s no lack of scathing eyes casting incisive aspersions on these stories of the streets of modern Britain. Spreading the net of their self-styled Punk’n’Fuck’n’Roll to include occasional, welcome, flurries of mandolin, acoustic geetar, brass parps n’ harp n’ sax on the sombrero skanking country wanderer instrumental of the titular intro to closing hidden campfire verse sharing strum-a-long pissed-up paean to the ladies with last of the north-east nomads on Cast Ya Mind Back and reggae / soul revue 12th Floor inbetween, nimbly demonstrating they ain’t gonna be constrained by the psycho straits they get easily lumped in with. Sure nuff ‘n’ yaay, they’re still angry and acerbic but also carry a few crates of compassion on their shoulders making comparisons to Strummer n’ co, Stiff Little Fingers and Rancid far more than the simple lazy assertions it’s easily assumed they are, after the loveable clichéd Geordie rapscallion of Terry Collier in the Likely Lads that befell Quireboys’ Spike and lesserly perhaps Ginger. They also steer clear of the righteous, self-important path, wrapping up their disillusion and jocular incomprehension in a party atmosphere of hope, be it celebrity gossip rags for the gullible and malleable of ska-tastico Tell Me Lies, binge-drunk Britain on Drink Till You Drop, ambition kicked down as pipe dreams squandered in crack-town Camden and elsewhere on Long Time Dead, and closing owld working men’s sing-a-long brass band nostalgia Here We Go Again. Superb.
Stu Gibson

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