Four albums worth a listen: By Reverend and the Makers, Brother and Bones, Rudimental and PiL

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Reverend and the Makers:

Mirrors

Sheffield’s Jon McClure and his backing band, alias Reverend and the Makers, might have feared that they’d blown their chances of becoming pop’s heavyweight champions of the world after failing to put together a worthy follow-up to their 2007 debut, The State of Things, at their next three attempts.

Now, however, they reckon they’re in with a shot at being contenders again, and they might just be right as this might well be their best LP yet.

Mirrors, a follow-up to last year’s Thirty Two, oozes playfulness and wilful eccentricity vaguely reminiscent of the Kinks and Love’s concept albums of the late 1960s but with basslines from a much later date and shorter song running times.

It also comes recommended by the likes of Noel Gallagher and Carl Barat, two men who know a thing or two about putting together pop songs reminiscent of years gone by.

Makin’ Babies is probably its best shot at a hit single, but even if it falls short, it’s got every chance of being picked up by a fertility clinic to soundtrack an advertising campaign somewhere in the world.

Brother and Bones:

Brother and Bones

Brother and Bones are being touted as Cornwall’s answer to US rockers Pearl Jam, and it’s not hard to see why.

Rich Thomas’s powerhouse vocals bear comparison with Eddie Vedder’s, and the Ben Howard backing singer’s four bandmates provide solid backing on all 10 tracks making up their very promising debut LP.

It would be unfair to expect artists to sound tortured all the time, but this lot certainly are at their best when they’re at their most angst-ridden, as on the first handful of tracks here.

When the intensity levels slip, they sound a bit too much like an English version of Hootie and the Blowfish for comfort, but, happily, that happens only rarely.

Public Image Ltd:

What the World Needs Now is ...

Not content with raking in cash by advertising butter and making a truncated appearance on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!, John Lydon appears to be touting for an extra pay-day plugging toilet-cleaning products on his 10th album with PiL, a No 29 hit.

“Domestos is domestic bliss,” he declares on its opening track, Double Trouble, and if that doesn’t prompt Unilever to start waving cheque-books around, it doesn’t know which side its figurative bread is buttered on.

Elsewhere, the former Sex Pistol snarls and sneers in characteristic fashion to good effect.

It might not always be big or clever, but as sitcoms such as Father Ted and One Foot in the Grave have proved, old men getting angry or potty-mouthed remain a reliable source of entertainment, and the man formerly known as Johnny Rotten, now 59, is happy to oblige with plentiful raging and cursing throughout.

It covers much the same ground as its predecessor, 2012’s This is PiL, but that’s no bad thing at all as this, after all, is still PiL, and long may they continue to be so.

Rudimental:

We the Generation

London drum-and-bass duo Rudimental aren’t so much talking about their generation, in the manner of the Who back in 1965, here as talking to them and working with them.

They’ve rounded up a sizeable proportion of their generation – and also one of the Who’s, in the shape of the late Bobby Womack – as collaborators, including Ed Sheeran, Ella Eyre, Dizzee Rascal, Will Heard and Lianne La Havas to create their oddly but pleasingly summery-sounding second long-player.

Such a gathering of star power could hardly fail to pay off, and it hasn’t, as their second album was a new entry at No 1 last Friday, their second chart-topper, and it’s already yielded two top 20 singles, the Ed Sheeran collaborations Bloodstream, a No 2, and Lay it All on Me, a No 15.

One quibble, however, though it might just be me being a nitpicking fuddy-duddy, but doesn’t the title track need the word ‘are’ inserted between its first and second words?