Album Review: Reverend And The Makers – A French Kiss In The Chaos

by Tony Butterworth on October 9, 2009

Reverend And The Makers - A French Kiss In The Chaos

Reverend and the Makers come from Sheffield, which gives them a huge head start in my book with that being the home of my all time favorite, Jarvis Cocker, and many others such as The Human League and Arctic Monkeys.  This is a British band I had heard of but never really listened to.  A French Kiss In The Chaos is the band’s second full length album following on from 2007’s The State Of Things which reached #5 in the UK charts. The album was released July 29th in the UK but currently shows no signs of a US release.

The album opens with “Silence Is Talking”, starting with distant, almost Indian, sounding guitars before breaking in with a copy of a hook from some 60’s tune I can’t remember.  This has the slightly dance like beat and close to spoken vocals of a Stone Roses tune.   Not a bad opener but in many ways it takes us on a journey that never arrives.  “Hidden Persuaders” is a very different song, it’s bouncier and poppier.  Verses are still speek-sung but when the chorus kicks in we hear them at their best.

“No Soap (In A Dirty War)”  is the standout track for me, it’s the first one I heard and what drew me to the album.  I’m sure there’s a deep message in the lyrics but it’s the overall song that hooks me.  Opening with an acoustic and longing vocal track, it hides what’s to come.  At 1 minute 50 seconds a fantastic chorus arrives, aided by a subtle choir. It’s a wonderful song.

These guys look way to happy to be in an angst-ridden band.

These guys look way to happy to be in an angst-ridden band.

After the highlights of the previous track, “Manifesto / The People Shapers” brings us down to earth.  It’s a mess that doesn’t even deserve the time it would take me to write something.  Luckily “Mermaids”  is another great track.  Faster paced than most others and with a great melody that pulls you in and another rousing chorus.  Great stuff.

“The End”  once again has that ’60s or perhaps Stone Roses feel.  An interesting chorus sounding something like the theme for a superhero from some movie.  The last track is “Hard Time For Dreamers” a ballad like song focusing on acoustic and piano, a good song with some rather direct lyrics.

Ten songs and less than forty minutes, with plenty of musical variation, French Kiss In The Chaos is an album that I recommend you seek out. However I must say that my first impressions have worn off. At first I loved the album but after four or five listens I find myself focusing on three or four tracks.  Perhaps this is unfair to the other tracks because they are definitely not filler, just not lighting my fire as much.

Watch the video for “No Soap (In A Dirty War)”

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Straight Outta Albion is a continuing series of reviews of albums that are available in the UK, but not yet released in the US.

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