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MUSIC Album reviews

Latest releases from Davie Furey, Pet Needs and BLK JKS

Davie Furey
Easy Come Easy Go
(DavieFureyMusic)
★★★★★

ONLY one word adequately describes this awesome 11-song album from Davie Furey — superb.

Furey delivers his uniquely evocative poetic lyrics in his instantly recognisable warm and sonorous voice, immersed in stupendous arrangements of shifting tempos and moods.

Adorned with beguiling riffs, it’s easefully orchestrated by master instrumental accomplices Steve Wickham, Darren Holden, Susan O’Neill and Clare Sands, to name a few.

Memories of the potato famine bring a lump to the throat in the haunting lament Presidents and Ghosts: “My family is gone now/Eighteen forty five/Trying to stay alive/The coffin ships they sailed...”

From the infinitely lyrical Another Heart that Heals or Till the End of Time to the vibrantly pulsating Mystic Road and the solace of Good to be Back Home, it’s all one majestic triumph. Can we have some more, Davie?

Pet Needs
Fractured Party Music
(Xtra Mile Recordings)
★★★★★

THIS Colchester quartet, fronted by brothers George and Johnny Marriott, has a rare musical versatility and a knack for quirky lyrics that “blitz” an omnipresent, creeping apathy.

The passions are raw as becomes any self-respecting punks and Pavlovian, Overcompensating or You Look Like You Never Bought a Scratchcard will raise the dead quicker than Jesus could.

At the same time, As The Spin Cycle Span offers a reflective acoustic melancholy with alluring orchestral phrases.

Failing at job interviews, self-destructive tendencies and mental health are subjects, as is irony and sneering at pretence: “I saw you walking home with your Marks and Spencer’s bag. I thought that punks went to Iceland.”

Richard Gutierrez and Jack Loc, symbiotic on bass and drums respectively, elevate every song.

“Punk isn’t dead; it’s just up for sale,” they belt away, but “as an ideology it will never die.”

BLK JKS
Abantu/Before Humans
(Glitterbeat)
★★★★★

BLK JKS (“Black Jacks”), an awe-inspiring exemplar of modern Africa’s indigenous sound, make a victorious return after an extended hiatus with this album.

The Jo-burg foursome may have grown up in different parts of the country, speaking different tribal languages, but their message is clear. Harare is a song of migration and the whole album is about resisting corrosive systems that threaten to dehumanise us all.

And the band are aware that its hard taking an anti-capitalist stance within a white supremacist system, stripping all the people of a sense of Ubuntu — “I am, because you are,” in Zulu.

Musical activism in the face of “capitalist cannibalism” is at the core of all they do. “There is a lot of important information stored and needing to be restored or preserved in this narrow sonic crevice we are mining,” confides band member Mpumelelo Mcata.

Ignore the laziness of patronising Western “Afropunk” labelling, BLK JKS create something unique on this album.

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