While listening to the dub reggae-tinged Boomerang, we were able to place this album: The Rev (aka Jon Mclure) is the white middle-aged Rastafarian you see down the pub. Nice bloke, intelligent, knows a lot of stuff, but while you half think he’s cool, you’re never going to want to look, or live, like him. The Rev has been going for ever, or at least since his mates the Arctic Monkeys became the real-world equivalent of Hotblack Desiato, Hitchhiker’s Guide’s supergroup. While the Monkeys tour in a matt black spaceship, the Rev is still in a Ford Prefect, dressed in pyjamas.
That’s not to say The Rev has not made the wrong career choice: he makes a living from his music and can fill Manchester Academy (and get Jezza Corbyn on stage) but he can also walk down the street and not be followed by crowds chanting “Hotblack! Hotblack!”
This is a perfectly decent album. The songs are competent and intelligent. It struck us — cruelly — that this might be what The Beatles would sound like without Lennon/McCartney and George Martin: it jumps about stylistically from rock to reggae, a bit of an eastern sound here, reggae bass there, Ringo’s Octopus’s Garden over there.
The trouble is, they’ve got no distinctive sound. They have fans who like being entertained by the white Rasta and want no more. Quite why you’d buy this when there are better albums about (like this), we don’t know, but then if we were all the same, how dull life would be. Other than it fulfilling your secret dream to wear dreads, smoke weed and not worry about a pension, perhaps one for the fans only.
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