The last three years or so has seen an explosion in the number of artists who want to voice their anger, despair or fear at the current state of politics and society on both sides of the Atlantic. Sometimes the whole process becomes a chore: you want to grab these guys by the collar and ask why it took something as disastrous as Trump and/or Brexit before they started making waves. But we are where we are.
Credit to Tyrone Frampton, whilst much of the PR noise about the release of Nothing Great About Britain spun on a familiar anti-establishment axis, you’re left feeling after a listen or two that his frantic, skit-laden and often cartoon sounding songs would’ve bubbled to the surface whether or not the country had decided on such a vexing future.
He certainly doesn’t lack courage: the album’s titular opener describes a place which has completely lost it’s way and finishes with a vignette in which he calls it’s Queen a c**t, the sort of polemic which it goes without saying was always going to provoke a response of equal and opposite extremity. And so it went.
Was the intent to shock then, in old money, little more than a publicity stunt? On balance, the answer must be no. This is largely because you can feel the desperation in most of his charachters, all of them grifters, runaways or people stuck on the lowest rungs of the ladder. The sheer energy of Doorman should be enough to win you over, but it’s the autobiographical pull of Northampton’s Child that almost steals an invigorating show, the times-that-made-me vibe explaining much. Nothing Great About Britian ultimately is an album confirming the idea that whenever you’re looking for a new star, always check the gutter first.
You can read a full review here.