Sonic Boom Six - City of Thieves
This, my friends, is a concept album, a punk concept album. Punk, having failed to kill off the concept album, has now adopted it more readily than Madonna does a small child on her holidays in the sun. Not only is it a punk concept album but, even more bizarrely, it appears to be on driven largely by the agenda of the Daily Mail. It is jarring but amusing to hear these agitated young punks rail bitterly against drunken youths and scallywags. Ee it weren’t like this in my day etc etc.
Talking of jarring, vocalist Laila Khan’s “Powerpuff girl meets Bet Lynch” helium driven vocals take some getting used to. Actually they take a lot of getting used to. About 6 full listens of the album before they stop distracting me from the rest of the package. Once you are past that hurdle, well this is actually a pretty damn good album. They’ve taken a hint from The King Blues and gone for some proper production values and included some genuine, contender pop songs – if only anyone cared about the top 40 anymore.
Ramming home the notion of the concept album, each track is interspersed with some insightful/tedious/patronising (delete as applicable) samples which dissect the problems of modern life in the UK. Cars = environmentally unsound, excessive drinking = a poor show, killing = a bad thing – you get the picture? Musically it is a little bit ska, a little bit punk and, oddly, a little bit Iron Maiden with the twin guitars.
Let’s face facts, a cynical old git like me is not the target audience for this album. Kids with no experience of life or music will lap this up like it is something new and exciting. It is, of course, neither but, equally, it makes a decent fist of appearing to be so. Look, if you are a teenager then why would you care what I think? And if you are not then really you are a bit old for all of this nonsense. So this review is largely pointless but, hey, I get paid by the word. Check out my expense account suckers, it’s like punk never happened.