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Sheffield proselytizer goes pop
Philip Byrne, 25 Jun 2012
It’s been three years since Sheffield-based People’s Poet John McClure, the chap behind Reverend & The Makers, released an album. For his third outing, the Madchester-inflected sound which defined his second, A French Kiss In The Chaos, has been well and truly ditched. In its place is something more compact, more chart-friendly, more 2012.
Lyrically, McClure inhabits the same space as ever: Oasistown-Upon-Weller. It’s a world of scratch cards, hatchbacks, fizzy lager and dreams of the better life. The only problem is, it’s completely undermined by the album’s orthodox love for big bangin’ beats, synths and breakdowns that would be more at home on a Calvin Harris record.
Lead track ‘Bassline’ is aimed at the charts, bypassing substance en route. Tracks like ‘Warts N All’, ‘1+0’, ‘Noisy Neighbour’ and the rest are so predictable that when the inevitable nod to dubstep arrives with ‘Depth Charge’’s wooping bassline, you can see it coming too.
I don’t mean to be cynical. @Reverend_Makers contains flashes of McClure’s street-smart lyricism, but unfortunately precious little else. Then again, maybe its deliberate lack of nuance will make it a massive hit, leaving the Rev with the last laugh.