Listening to Reverend & The Makers meandering through The Death of a King, it’s easy to let your mind draft away for a second.
How did Donald Trump get elected? What will North Korea do next? These are examples of questions you might ask yourself before a note or a blast of something unexpected and fresh pulls your focus back towards the music.
In fact, the entire story of the band is as wondering as the album. From breaking through with Heavyweight Champion of the World to lead singer John McClure announcing (and then going back on his word) that he would quit music in 2008, Reverend & The Makers haven’t had a typical life.
The band started out as a collective of individuals and The Death of a King brings them back to those roots. Lead vocals were shared on Juliet Knows (Joe Carnell), Auld Reekie Blues (Eddie Cousins) and Black Flowers (Laura McClure), while the eclectic sound is more reminiscent of different people trying to make their mark than a band’s cohesive collective identity.
The LP has echoes of being a rock beast, like the faint whiff of whiskey that lingers around a long empty bottle. Too Tough To Die is the lead single from the album and has a glorious blues, Black Keys type vibe to it. For pure rock fans, this will be their favourite song on the record.
From that follows Carlene with it’s old timer piano introduction and at one minute long is a meloncholic ditty about a love sick heart, while Monkey See, Monkey Do is an entirely more catchy tune in which McClure wails ‘she’s got to be a whore in the bedroom but the Virgin Mary when you take her out’.
There is even a tribal infused instrumental song called Bang Seray, the location to which the band all their families traveled and shot the video for Too Tough To Die.
Reverend & The Makers have given up on trying to be top of the charts and now just want to make music they like. That sense shines through on the album as does the mixed approaches and identities within the songs they’ve created. It might not be for everyone but everyone should listen to it at least once.
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Make the music you’re proud of.