The Proclaimers – Angry Cyclist
Twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid return with more of the same on Angry Cyclist. If it's not broke...
The Proclaimers must be one of the most underrated bands of all time.
Dyed-in-the-wool blue-eyed soul boys, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid write and sing songs like it's the most important thing in the world. It's certainly the most important thing in their world. 'Depending on your viewpoint / This place is blessed or cursed / And in the years I've lived here / I've seen the best and worst' goes the stately Streets of Edinburgh and right there nails the gestalt of The Proclaimers themselves. Those who love them, really love them. The rest of you? You don't matter... no matter how we're listening to music, what economic union we're listening to it in or who's pretending to be the President of the United States, The Proclaimers will be travelling around the world, singing 13 new ballads and belters.
There's always Springsteen-esque rockers (Then It Comes To Me, You Make Me Happy), string-assisted acoustic laments (the striving title track), cosmic country rags (A Way With Words) and soothing strummers (the wonderful, waltzing The Hours Between) on their records and a few lyrical couplets that will leave you devastated.
Produced by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Idlewild), Angry Cyclist offers a little less gravitas than usual in truth, but the taut Telecasters that dominate The Proclaimers' eleventh studio album provide a tension that seems to sit well within the heart of these prescient compositions. The clever Classy is another standout, whose lyrical genius ('Sausage supper says middle or upper') rides in on a McCartney-esque piano figure and turns into a bit of a modern history lesson ('When your daddy lends you a million / You can lead the land of the free') – albeit one all wrapped up in a ceilidh hoedown.
That's probably the essence of what Craig and Charlie Reid do best and it's summed up in the penultimate song The Battle of the Booze: 'Vodka takes the crown / Gets you when you're up / And kicks you when you're down.' Just like The Proclaimers.
Listen to: Angry Cyclist, Streets of Edinburgh, The Battle of the Booze