Review By | Phil Grundy | RockWELL UnScene Magazine
‘Peace‘ arrives almost eight years since the Brighton band’s last album of original material, 2012’s ‘Static On The Airwaves,’ though the band – completed by Jon Sevink (fiddle), Charlie Heather (drums) and Matt Savage (keyboards) – have been far from idle.
Having long been one of the best live bands around, their shows are an integral part of what the LEVELLERS do, but with the current situation our global community is facing, the band have had to postpone all dates, including their ‘Beautiful Days festival,’ until 2021 with more details to follow here.
I have to say I’m so excited to be reviewing one of my favourite bands new album ‘Peace.’ So OK here we go… Cover art is in typical LEVELLERS style by Jeremy Cunningham. A painting reminiscent of the Zeitgeist cover, this time a Blue and red Phoenix.
‘Food Roof Family’ Opening the album up in true LEVELLERS fashion Track 1. Right from the get go the vibe is there, taking me back to the familiar sound that can be heard on albums such as ‘A Weapon Called The Word’ or on ‘Levelling The Land‘. It’s good to hear the same message of real people with real problems still have a place. They certainly haven’t lost their originality, but put a new twist on an already great original sound. Great opener.
‘Generation Fear’ Quite a heavy opening on this one. Hard riffs combined with melodic vocals. I like this track for it’s great arrangement and vocal performance from Mark Chadwick (Lead Vocals). He sounds as good today as he did back in 1990.
‘Four Boys Lost’ A radio friendly track opening up nicely with the haunting sound of Violin and folk instruments. This reminds me a lot of a track called ‘Julie‘ from their self titled 1993 release.
‘Burning Hate Like Fire’ Now this is a very different sound from these guys. Reminds me very much of a Queen track, a lighten number that just has that afternoon relaxing in the sun with a cold beverage vibe.
‘Born That Way’ I don’t know why, but this intro conjured up images of Michael Jackson and Slash performing together on a certain track from back in early 1990’s, then recovering to a much familiar sound. I feel this song wouldn’t be out of place on a chilling afternoon playing on a Jukebox in a bar somewhere,nowhere.
‘Our New Day’ Remarkable similarity to previous ‘Battle of The Beanfield‘ and ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia‘ on this track. Maybe this should be renamed ‘Battle of The Beanfield Part 2.’ Riddled with Violin solo’s and melodic breaks, I really like it.
‘Calling Out’ A very 80’s sounding intro. Once the song gets underway, lining up with that radio friendly sound that can be played anywhere, anytime. I suspect this was the direction they we’re aiming for on this whole album.
‘Ghosts In The Water’ Acoustic guitars a plenty on this, A strum and sing along bonanza that the LEVELLERS are famous for. Reminds of ‘Maid Of The River’ from their 1995 release ‘Zeitgeist’ proving that they can stick to their own sound yet still be original in the song writing.
‘The Men Who Would Be King’ Wow! Going from Track 8 to Track 9 I feel like i just stepped out of a Sunday Pub Lunch and straight into a Punk Rock club filled with folk loving pirates on a Friday night. The LEVELLERS never fail to deliver both melodic and heavy. I love they can still pull this off in 2020.
‘Albion & Phoenix’ Mark Chadwick and friend sharing vocal duties and inspired by a squatted brewer named ‘The Phoenix on Brighton’s Albion Hill.’ Another real story sung for real people. The roots of The LEVELLERS have always been this and they’ve not failed to deliver this here. If ‘Dirty Davey‘ (Levellers 1993) and ‘The Game‘ (Levelling The Land 1991) had a baby then this would be it.
‘Our Future’ There’s a lot of originality in this track. Starts off sounding a lot like ‘The Boatman’ (Levelling The Land 1991) But soon changes into something very original. ‘Our Future‘ has that unique sound, however taking on a new direction making a very suitable ending track. “Our Future, it’s important and don’t forget it.”
30 years in this band have yet to falter, producing fresh new music to stand the test of time, but staying true to their original sound. I know fans won’t be disappointed with this masterpiece.
- Food Roof Family
- Generation Fear
- Four Boys Lost
- Burning Hate Like Fire
- Born That Way
- Our New Day
- Calling Out
- Ghosts In The Water
- The Men Who Would Be Kind
- Albion & Phoenix
- Our Future