Posts Tagged ‘Rare Vitamin Records’

Rare Vitamin Records – 5th August 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

It almost goes without saying, but I’ll say it – again – anyway: we live in pretty bleak times. Everything is fucked. But perhaps with the many things which have deteriorated, diminished or otherwise been eroded in recent years, from various freedoms and basic rights to quality of life, be it access to medical and mental health care to how far paychecks go, one of the most depressing in many respects is the rise of anti-intellectualism. It’s not even a question of dumbing down, so much as a culture that seems to mistrust, and even dislike intelligence, debate, and even artistry and creativity. To question the motives of funding of an individual or organisation is healthy: to denigrate and dismiss all ‘experts’ is insane.

England, in particular, has a uniquely worrying and ultimately debasing attitude which stems from members of its ultra-privileged, ultra-capitalist, right-wing government, which is disconcertingly open about nits agenda to attack the arts and culture, not only in having a minister for culture who has precisely none, but also an education department hell-bend on defunding and cancelling degree courses in the arts on the premise that they don’t dovetail into careers that pay. There’s clearly something wrong here, since the music industry generates billions of pounds a year in the UK – or at least it did, before the double whammy of the pandemic and Brexit screwed both grassroots venues and musicians alike.

The arrival of The Battery Farm’s ‘A Working Class Lad’, then, is something of a breath of fresh air. Taking its title from a poem from A. E. Houseman’s A Shropshire Lad collection (1986), it’s a song which addresses the uniquely British issue of class, and how class division can affect a family.

The Manchester four-piece may describe themselves as ‘gutter punk’ and promise ‘a ferocious, muscular, gnarly track that ebbs and flows with purpose, precision and venom’, but they’re unafraid to be open with their literary allusions and reflect on issues without lapsing into the common political / anti-government tropes through a bunch of half-baked slogans that are standard punk fare.

With a jet-propelled drums and a robust, chugging riff behind the sneering vocals, The Battery Farm prove in three minutes that it’s possible to be punky and abrasive but not dumb. Just as the song tackles duality and (inner) conflict while at the same time being a seething roar of vitriol, so ‘A Working Class Lad’ showcases some savvy songwriting beneath the fire of a throat-grabbing rager. It’s a rare joy to hear a song that actually says something, but is equally fine to take on face value as something to most around to and pump your fists at the raw energy.

With a brace of EPs under their belts and ‘A Working Class Lad’ being the first single from their debut album, out in November, The Battery Farm are a rare thing – the perfect combination of brains and balls, they’re a band worth getting excited about.

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