Kicking off 'A French Kiss In The Chaos' with the trumpet riff from War classic 'Low Rider' (yep, the Marmite song) seems something of a gimmicky move for Sheffield rockers Reverend and the Makers, even more so when combined with the 'Rain, Rain, Go Away' nursery rhyme melody that soon follows. For Jon 'The Reverend' McClure, who's known for playing car park gigs, and took just a month to retract plans for the band to split altogether, it's hardly surprising.
The slinky chiming and seductive horns of 'Hidden Persuaders' is let down by the cringe-worthy lyrics of the chorus ('You're free to do what we tell you/You're free to do what we say''), and that's not the only place where cheap lyrical sentiment detracts from the actual melody and arrangement. Usually is just hackneyed and a bit embarrassing, but on 'Professor Pickles' the reference to The Electric Prunes' 'Too Much To Dream (Last Night)' seems gratuitously recycled.
Yet, the biggest offender is the general lack of memorable moments. The rumbling bass and post rock atmosphere of' 'Manifesto/People Shapers' and the retro funk and textured horns of 'No Wood Just Trees' are by far the strongest, towering above this succession of otherwise muddy and samey tracks.
Despite a certain amount of interesting ideas and diverse instrumentation, there seems to be a lack of range here, leaving it all a bit underwhelming, a bit humdrum, and sort of bland.