For a band with five full length records and a sixth ready to be released to the world at the end of the month, REVEREND AND THE MAKERS are still very much a band loved by a loyal few rather than an unappreciative mass.
Frontman Jon McClure says THE DEATH OF A KING sets out with the idea of returning to the hits that booted them onto the scene originally by explaining: “I’m kind of over trying to recreate Heavyweight Champion of the World,” but don’t think that this is a step back for one of Sheffield‘s most consistent bands of the past decade.
“I see the world in a different way now so I’m trying to be true to who I am today,” he assures; and this is certainly true given the fact Reverend and the Makers recorded the album in Thailand on the advice given by The Libertines. An Asian influence is dominant on Bang Seray – therapeutic and steady drums with sharp, oriental strings float deliciously throughout the two-and-a-half instrumental.
After their previous record, MIRRORS, was so highly acclaimed, the Sheffield outfit had set themselves a standard and if The Death of a King wasn’t up to the challenge of bettering it, it is highly unlikely that the album would ever be heard. Thankfully, it is an album that makes you step back and appreciate the ambition and risks taken by Reverend and the Makers this time around.
For example, Too Tough to Die is a rock and roll masterpiece; full of screeching riffs, distorted vocals and infectious choruses. Tracks like this reignite the old-school sounds, but in contrast to this anthemic piece, a piano led one minute ballad (Carlene) follows that makes you wonder whether you have accidentally veered off to a different album.
The conflicting sounds work, though, and backing vocals from the wives and children (Black Cat) of band members give the whole LP a further depth and a sense of belonging creating a warm record instead of a typical four instrument based indie rock album.
Black Flowers closes the album in style – starting with silky, slow dance vibes – three minutes in, though, and the Asian influence returns alongside a building drum beat and cutting lead guitars and it is here we see the Reverend and the Makers from The State of Things era. Unapologetic, vibrant and in your face; McClure wanted to get over being the Heavyweight Champion of the World, but he has certainly regained his belt.
REVEREND AND THE MAKERS – THE DEATH OF A KING IS OUT SEPTEMBER 22