The past week was a huge week in music, in fact it was a huge week for British life in general. Amidst a sea of political canvassing and debate, as well two terribly tragic events both in London and, before that, Manchester the whole country has been shook and stirred into an outpouring of emotion and expression. Musically we’ve seen Liam Gallagher release solo material, The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach release what may be the album of the year, Beth Ditto from The Gossip announced a new solo record, and of course the world came together for the ‘One Love’ event in Manchester this Sunday.
Amongst that, a band who embodies music, politics, expression and emotion with their brash and incomparable punk rock sound released their debut LP this past Friday as well as dominating the stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend festival, when it emanated from their hometown of Hull. Of course we’re talking about Life and their new record ‘Popular Music’. Empowering and grand they introduce themselves with the words “It’s In Your Hands…” and with a post punk ferocity not seen as often as it should be in contemporary music, they hammer through their first track with a raging tempo and remind us all, and just in time as well, that it is of course in our hands…
The whole thing is one huge rock n roll party, as lead singer Mez Green showcases his unique vocal delivery, reminiscent of Mark E. Smith, and the rest of the band push their instruments to the limits but with an intelligence, preciseness and substance that’s rarely found in todays oversaturated and superficial music market. It’s viscous like a blend of The Sex Pistols and The Cribs, but got that catchy pop sound like a cross between The Ramones and Gray Matter. Each track holds its own and leaves no single song as a particular standout because they’re all as equally powerful and valuable as each other, rendering the album an absolute work of art. As much as the album is impressive it holds a special place in my heart as I’ve personally followed the musical developments of both vocalist Mez and even more closely, guitarist Mick Sanders, and have been increasingly proud and impressed by their dedication and ambition, and it looks like it’s all paid off just great.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)