Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reverend & The Makers - The State Of Things (Wall of Sound)

It’s been a while since anyone successfully married the exceedingly-unattached genres of dance and indie together. Garbage nailed it briefly before flushing it for good; Bis gave it a fantastic shot, if slightly cutesy for it; the Klaxons, for all their achievements, cannot be forgiven their spray-on red jeans. We won’t even acknowledge Bodyrockers…

So, with the release of The State of Things, the debut album from boorish Sheffield numbskulls Reverend & The Makers, it seems that any triumphant fusion of the two genres is a long way off. As demonstrated by lead single Heavyweight Champion of the World, thumping house beats coupled with wheedling riffs does not a blissful mix make, particularly when saturated with fleapit terrace overtones.

Oafish, clumsy and screaming out for a metaphor, it’s the soundtrack to a million regurgitated alcopops splattering the pavements outside a nightclub in an out-of-town entertainment complex. And yet, the titles alone underline that this is exactly the market they‘re aiming for - Sex With The Ex, 18-30, What The Milkman Saw… it’s enough to induce a shiver of embarrassment on behalf of these dense, discordant fools, and that’s even before you’ve given them a listen.

It just all feels very calculated, with the rock and dance sensibilities sitting very uncomfortably with one another throughout. In effect, it’s one big intentional gimmick. Even the instances where the pace tapers down to a more subued, mid-tempo air, grating bleeps and vocoders are awkwardly stuffed in to keep the novelty rolling.

Reverend & The Makers, in spite of all their links and inexplicable acclaim, have more in common with Ultrabeat than they do with Oasis or Ian Brown. Primitive, inept, hackneyed and incredibly uncomfortable, there’s no place in 2007 for an album as gutless as The State of Things - and what a complete fucking state things are in.

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