This is the double album and bonus 7" single of two previously unreleased songs Redux version of McCarthy's second album, "The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth". Now I have to admit this reviewer dismissed them when this originally came out in 1989, partly as they often sound a bit to fey for my tastes back then, and also party because they came from Barking which meant they came from the wrong end of Ilford Lane for this kid that grew up in Redbridge. I really should have supported my local bands more.
I was also less than impressed both of the times I saw them as a support act back in the 80's mainly for being to fey, I was rather judgmental back then. Of course they are also one of Tim Ganes early bands before he became rather well known in Stereolab. They are also just about the only band that The Manic Street Preachers have covered 3 songs by and are considered one of the most influential bands on the Manics.
Listening to this album now I must ask are McCarthy The Kinks of Agit-Jangle? The album is beautifully packaged using the original artwork and the bonus single has some very cool artwork to go with it.
The original album on the first platter opens with Boy Meets Girl So What, that's a nice gentle opener that shows no signs of any rage either musically or lyrically instead it turns the normal love song conventions slightly on there head asking why you should be interested in something so mundane in a gentle indie jangle pop way.
Governing Takes Brains takes a cool jangle pop tune and adds sweetly sung but angry and bitter lyrics asking for our Government to be and act far more intelligently than it did then, of course listening to a song asking these questions in our current time of crisis makes this sound very forward thinking.
An Address To The Better Off is a cool fey indie tune asking for more parity and equality of wealth which is a problem that has only worsened in the past 30 years and just asking the better off to donate some money to the poor while sounding inoffensive enough for radio 2 daytime play.
Hands Off Or Die is one of those egalitarian pleas for redistribution of wealth that sounds like it could be by The Lilac Time.
What our Boys Are Fighting For is an anti-war song that asks the always pertinent question of why our boys are being sent to be killed overseas and it's also the first song on the album that I really remember hearing. So come on lets all jangle for peace.
The B-Side opens with Keep An Open Mind Or Else which is a great title and message that needs drumming home now more than ever as it jangles it's way into your brain. We Are All Born Creeps is slow and thoughtful with some nice guitar work in between the rather earnest lyrics.
The Home Secretary Briefs The Foreign Secretary.. isn't your usual indie-pop song title and lyrically it asks all sorts of questions about what we do abroad with a weird is it a Sitar or Guitar/Sitar thingy solo as we hope one day to stop torturing people abroad.
I'm Not A Patriot But is the sort of phrase you would have heard a lot around Barking back in the 80's from the area's NF skinhead contingent and this song turns the phrase around to ask why you're a Patriot in the first place. I don't miss being chased out of Barking by those idiots either.
Throw Him Out He's Breaking My Heart is a good direct-action pastoral indie break up song, well at least he's not a tory as that would be even worse.
The first song on the bonus album is Should The Bible Be Banned which is the sort of controversial song title not normally associated with indie rock and this is an urgent rant of a song against mis-use of the bible, it's teachings and it's ongoing influence on life. I'm guessing they didn't expect this song to get much airplay in the USA.
Continuing the biblical theme is St Francis Among The Mortals that turns the story of St Francis into glorious Indie jangle powerpop. The Myth Of The North South Divide is the sort of title I'd expect of a Daily Mail article rather than from a Marxist indie band who set out to dispel the phrase and some of the other phrases and actions used to exploit the so called divide.
We Are All Bourgeois Now which is easy to claim if your local park has its own miniature railway line and football and rugby pitches that only had fights on them most weeks. But I digress from the fearsomely cool indie jangle of Barking's leading Bourgeois band as I'm sure the Bard of Barking Billy Bragg would have thought this a perfect local concern.
Two Criminal Points Of View sounds like a bit of a Smiths rip-off back when that was still a cool thing to do and before Mozza fully revealed himself.
Side D opens with This Nelson Rockerfeller and asks the sorts of questions being asked about all sorts of folks who have statues and buildings in tribute to them as to how deserving they are of that praise, listen and make up your own mind before desecrating any statues.
They then take aim at The New Left Review #1 and asks if it's just dreaming of Utopia rather than doing anything useful to make the word a better place and also wants us to be more realistic.
The Lion Will Lie Down With The Lamb but thankfully it won't happen on Barking Broadway or have any need of Phil Collins, It also has some cool synth sounds against the jangling guitars that point towards Tim Ganes future in Stereolab.
All Your Questions Answered is of course a list of common questions about how things are run most of which are of course unanswerable without a 100000 word discourse to explain the bad news on the economic front, or who destroyed our manufacturing industry over a Smiths style indie jangle.
The bonus album closes with The New left review #2 a gentler take than #1 but still asking just as many questions as to how the left can be more effective in bringing about a better world.
The A side of the previously un-released single is Who Will Rid Me Of These Turbulent Proles which is a song title that sounds like it could be a quote from William Rees Mogg or Boris Johnson and sounds just as Agit-jangle as the rest of the album and has a nicely twisted guitar solo in among the hectoring lyrics.
The B-side of the bonus single is the brilliantly titled You Had To Go And Open Your Big Mouth which is a line I often heard in the 80's after we had finished running away from whichever group of Skins or other thugs were chasing us, but I never thought I'd hear it turned into an indie dancefloor filler with a subtle indie funk edge to it.
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