LIFE – Popular Music

Album Review by Chris Ogden | 25 May 2017
  • LIFE - Popular Music
Album title: Popular Music
Artist: LIFE
Label: Afghan Moon
Release date: 26 May

Contrary to what its title might suggest, LIFE’s Popular Music isn’t a sarcy take on popular culture; instead the punk four-piece from Hull (the UK’s 2017 City of Culture) look to tap into the anxious mood currently swirling the nation with a blistering debut LP full of discordant guitars and manic energy.

In Your Hands serves as a promising introduction to the group, a chaotic two minute maelstrom built around the racing word vomit of lead vocalist Mez Green and the wild guitar blasts of his brother Mick Sanders. It’s a statement of intent, with most of Popular Music built around thrilling tracks like the classic punk-tinted Membership Man, in which Green mocks a ‘right wing cruiser’, and the frantic masochism of Electricity.

Late-album track Beautifully Skint unwisely slows the pace down, proving that LIFE are best when they stay angry. Popular Music closes with its most explicitly political track Euromillions; written the day after last year’s EU referendum, Green decries the toxic, Little England rhetoric of Brexiteers. ‘You have the right to bear arms if you’ve got the right coloured arms,’ he sneers before giving away to a desperate chorus of ‘Rollover! Rollover!’

The underlying sentiment of Popular Music can be found on the twisting, bassy Earthworm: ‘Originality is questionable but Make. It. Happen,' Green stresses. True to their name, LIFE understand the importance of just doing it more than anyone. That proactivity’s needed now more than ever.

Listen to: In Your Hands, Electricity, Euromillions