The Devil is dedicated to unearthing unknown, unheard, unseen, unheralded, unfamiliar or down right unbelievable bands old or new that have not yet hit the radars of the British public. If you are a new band or artist and would like to be considered for inclusion then please contact me via email or twitter.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

They Mean It Maaaan

The Chapman Family
The Chapman Family 
From: Stockton-On-Tees, United Kingdom

In 1977 UK music's response to the Queen's Jubilee was the sound of rebellion, the sound of punk ripping into the establishment, the sound of the Pistols sailing down the Thames. In 2012 thanks to Gary (the knighthood's in the post) Barlow it was the sound of caps being doffed and forelocks being touched at the Buckingham Palace concert. But it wasn't all bowing and scraping. There was at least one corner of the country untainted by the hype and the tatty bunting of the jubilee. A place where the sound of rebellion rang out loud and clear. A place where north eastern foursome The Chapman Family developed their blistering new EP Cruel Britannia, an alternative state of the nation address.

The band swipe away the union jacks, the crosses of St George and the jingoistic jubilee hype revealing a dark and desperate country. A country with "no hope" that's "falling apart" ('This English Life'). A country where dead soldiers returning from a war barely merit a mention on the national news (the pugilistic 'No More Tears'), where violence and hatred stalk the streets where you were raised (the title track, 'Cruel Britannia'). It's the most scathing depiction of a country in decline since The Smiths' excoriating 'The Queen Is Dead'. The EP's vitriolic title track smashes the heavily rose tinted lenses of the popular press into a thousand pieces. It's 2012's alternative national anthem. "No one cares about you, you're battered red, white, black and blue" might not be as nihilistic, or as simplistic, a slogan as No Future but the sentiment's the same. All in the garden of England is not rosy and it's time for the fightback to start.

Cruel Britannia culminates in a stripped back, bleak cover of Morrissey's classic 'Everyday Is Like Sunday'. It's not as biting or as bleakly dramatic as the original and you can't help feeling, given the EP's themes of a country that's falling apart, that a more suitable Mozzer penned track to cover would have been the 'Queen Is Dead' itself. But let's not quibble over minor omissions. Cruel Britannia is a stunning riposte to all the deferential duffers lining up to prostrate themselves in front of the titular head of a dying country. The Pistols may have the upper hand on establishment shaking, anarchistic, situationist stunts but The Chapman Family really mean it maaaan.

8.5/10

This review was written by the Devil for the405 and is published with permission

Go Visit

The Chapman Family - Facebook : Website : Last.FM

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The Chapman Family
This English Life



The Chapman Family
Cruel Britannia




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