Revolution Rabbit Deluxe 2023

Control Freaks

Blackpool horsemen of Apocalypse hurry to stake their claim on a place in the sun – in a world where the sun doesn’t shine,

While most mortals’ write songs about G-spot and Californian whores, this South Wales ensemble rage about G7 and Ukrainian war – it’s been the foursome’s modus operandi since “Tales From Armageddonsville” announced their arrival on the scene back in 2018, and the band’s fifth album “Control Freaks” is tightening the gloriously gloomy method that marries provocative, politically and personally, lyrics to marvelous melodies. Although Rev Rabbit and his fluffle pretend they don’t give a damn about anything – the “you tell me ‘go to hell,’ I say, ‘I’ve been there plenty'” couplet suggesting as much – ultimately, there’s a wonderful story in the dozen pieces on display, which should emphasize the quartet’s firm grip on reality. Yes, they do care, immensely so.

Sure, opener “I’ve Got Nothing” may make the audience assume the musicians are at peace with minimal means to show for their trouble, but its bluesy twang and life-affirming swirl of guitars reveal their unwillingness to surrender to existential ways without a fight, before the deceptive shoegaze shuffle and relentless groove allow “Cult Of Me Me Me” to accuse web consumers of misplaced pride. And if “Head In The Sand” lets Maxine Perrera shoot incendiary six-string riffs at Ben Davies’ bass rumble so that Rev could lay infectious vocal lines all over his friends’ instrumental barrage, “Between A Mother And Her Child” offers an electronica-enveloped romantic sentiments – a contrast to the scintillating balladry of “The Girl From Irpin” where drama and anger elicit symphonic sympathy from the listener, and the “I’m sorry for your loss” refrains turn into a belligerent, vocal harmonies-enhanced march. But then, there’s the ’60s-indebted rocking of “Fabian Control Freaks” to wash away the misery and have fun, and “Glasgow Kiss” whose acoustic strum and electric glide weave into a tender jangle to awake a dream in the hardest of hearts.

However, the irresistible drive of “Stuck On Stupid” bares the ensemble’s punk leanings – merged with an affectionate tune – and “The Darkest Of Days” points towards their love of folk piquancy and pop flair, which is why “Summer All Year ‘Round” that David Headon’s heady drumming will propel towards rapture delivers a perfect, exhilarating finale. So yes, the foursome are in control – only this kind of control must be called sympathy and be shared with the world.


December 13, 2023

Category(s): Reviews

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