An accomplished indie album, produced to a high standard.
Lou Thomas 2009-07-23
Jon McClure first came to prominence as the flatmate and occasional writing partner of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner. As the 'Reverend' in Reverend & The Makers McClure then had his own success with 2007 debut album, The State Of Things, which reached the top five. This follow-up is more ambitious than that inaugural effort but suffers from the same variance in quality.
For every smart couplet or cleverly constructed song structure there is a crass or naïve lyrical sentiment.
Hidden Persuaders is filled with unintentionally hilarious conspiracy theory paranoia but says nothing new. A man as politically astute as the Reverend surely read all about the perils of capitalism in Naomi Klein's No Logo?
Long Long Time is better to begin with. All minor chord piano longing, it's a Sheffield sibling of Primal Scream's Cry Myself Blind until the moment that it's spoiled by the line, ''Please don't contact me, the river owns the battery from my phone''.
Single Silence Is Talking is far better than everything else on the album. The refrain from War's funk classic Low Rider is given a post-Stone Roses psychedelic boost to thrilling effect, while epic, echoing guitars, a White Album-era Beatles drone and baggy Happy Mondays beats are a great accompaniment.
Another unnecessary phone reference threatens to scupper No Soap In A Dirty War. Despite this aberration the track's sentiments are familiar to anybody with ambition: ''I don't wanna die in the same hole I was born/ I don't wanna get married in the same church as you all''. Musically it's affectionate, grand and affecting, like a South Yorkshire November Rain without the pomposity.
A French Kiss In The Chaos is an accomplished indie album, produced to a high standard. If only its maker didn't resort to hackneyed generalisations about the media having ''license to print lies as facts'' and ridiculous alliteration like ''Professor Pickles prescribing me Prozac pills''.