Review: Reverend and the Makers’ new album ThirtyTwo

Annie Lees
Annie Lees

I have had immeasurable respect for this band since day one. Musical quality aside, the sheer commitment and graft from these guys is admirable.

It’s non-stop, do these guys ever rest?

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If it’s not the relentless Twitter campaign, it’s travelling the length and breadth of the country to perform in people’s front rooms.

I mean, this is unheard of, right? A total of 32 house gigs over the last couple of months is, well, going above and beyond.

Last month saw fans up and down the UK lucky enough to have this band travel to their house/flat/halls to perform an acoustic set for them - a clever PR move without a shadow of a doubt but one that wasn’t achievable without the time and efforts of the band themselves.

But that is Jon McClure, always the fans’ man, always taking the time after gigs to do an acoustic spot outside the venue, dodging police and forfeiting rest to go that little bit further.

But it is paying off, this band are single-handily recruiting an army of fans, affectionately known as The Rev Army through hard work alone.

It’s been a few months since I sat down with McClure (Annie, pictured inset with McClure), the band’s front man and lyrical craftsman.

The band were embarking on a string of gigs up and down the country and talk of new material was fuelled with excitement and anticipation.

Samples of which we have been treated to over the past couple of gigs and we haven’t been let down.

Like a modern day Alan Bennett and John Lydon rolled into one, McClure has once again managed to preach to the masses with informative and yet humbly-written lyrics with the tunes to back it up.

The past three albums have had the signature banging opener. When it comes to bangers, they wrote the book. They make Miley Cyrus’ ‘Bangerz’ look like a nursery rhyme.

Detonator from new album ThirtyTwo, which was released on Monday, is no different, a guaranteed fan favourite and gig-starter. It’s a two-minute blast of energy setting the pace for the rest of the album.

Drawing influence from genres across the music spectrum, you never know exactly what to expect from this band; each album so far being wonderfully different, and this album could have gone in any direction.

Heavy ska vibes are obvious from the off with tracks I Spy, Nostalgia and The Devil’s Radio interspersed with the signature Reverend anthems, such as Time, Old Enough to Know Better and The Only One, personal favourites and tracks I am itching to see live next week.

There are beautiful moments of calm which balance this album out perfectly. Play Me and Happy Song give you just the right amount of down-time to catch your breath before you’re hit with another wall of sound which makes this album the perfectly crafted album that it is.

Hats off to McClure and the gang for doing it again!

Any bands starting out, listen to this band and listen to this man. Living proof that you don’t need huge financial backing and some corporate-manufactured overpaid radio DJ plugging your stuff to make it.

Just balls, grit and commitment to the cause.

This is how music should be done!

Review by Annie Lees, of Fleckney, the Mail’s online music writer.

Follow Annie on Twitter, @Annie_beth.