Vinyl | CD | DL available at Sister Ray
Released 21st April
Benefits have ‘nailed’ it with their long awaited debut album, a power packed punch of visceral biting punk hardcore that’s relevant to the ‘post Brexit’ Britain we endure today. Wayne AF Carey reviews…
Here at Louder Than War we always seem to discover the special stand out moments of new music whilst trawling through the mountains of music we receive and it’s painful until you find something like this which makes it all worth the while. Back in 2021 our punk seer Ged Babey discovered a great new boyband from Teeside here where he claimed they could bag the Christmas No 1 with the brilliant Traitors. Fast forward to February 2021 where Ged was at it again with the release of Flag reviewed here way before anyone else, in true LTW fashion. By this time he had me on board and I was blown away by the excellent Meat Teeth, another scorcher reviewed here. Anyway, onto the album…
It’s a post Brexit kind of concept album that heavily dwells on twisted patriotism, racism, Tories and any wanker he has his target on. Backed by the trusty duo of brothers Robbie and Hugh Major (not related to fucking John), joined by ex Mogwai drummer Cat Myers it slams straight in with early track Marlboro Hundreds – “Ignore Cartoon Fascists, Reject Hate, Reject Hate” A rage of a track with blistering chaotic drums that burst through the speakers. Intense as fuck. Empire is a spoken work blast of anti patriotism spat out with venom backed with raw drilling noise drifting in and out. “God Save the Queen and hold my pint, in the Emmppppiiirre!” The closest you’re going to get here to radio friendly is the punk as fuck Warhorse. Because 6 Music have told you so. A massive gig at the government and there ignorance of the true austerity that lurks behind their privileged scenes. A call out to the underdogs and a punk classic.
Shit Britain goes all Trip Hop / Dubstep here with a bit of a nod to Slowthai’s debut I reckon. “There’s a new found spring in your goosestep” is a great line as is “The Red Arrows scream past as the homeless pile up” It’s stark observational reality at it’s best. A dark beat that hits hard. What More Do You Want is a simplistic spoken word rant full of simplistic drums that go mental at the racist Grandkids of bigoted gammons who still lurk behind the grimy grass stained bricks hidden under the new cladded highrise gentrified apartments. Meat Teeth digs at racist internet trolls licking the boot. “Anarchy’s not what it used to be” A menacing bass tone that turns into screeching guitars and white noise that will terrify your Grandparents into an early grave. “Where will you be when England burns” Unsettling stuff.
Mindset kicks in with a slow Hip Hop beat backing Kingsley’s grave lyrics encroaching on the mindset of the many sheep who believe the news and whatever they see regulated by our corrupt BBC. Cracking stuff. Flag is another oldish tune that’s been beefed up with another top as fuck Hip Hop electro beat. A real stab at racism and knucklehead BNP / Britain First blinkered bastards. “You’re drowning in it all. Wave your fuckin’ flag” Traitors as reviewed by our Ged sees all us people who have never had to see the light being berated by flag loving numpties who can’t see through their red mist of “It’s our island, send them back, God save the King” and all that bollocks. We are the traitors… Ending track Council Rust has an ambient feel to the whole thing with Kingsley describing a minority of right wing bastards bothered about status crawling out of the council estates to their false new identities masked in fancy cars and bling. We know who you are.
Kingsley Hall is providing us with the soundtrack of today. A raw intelligent rant backed by seering noise and power that blast the speakers with a ball of pent up energy that sends a message to the people who matter and listen, not the racist Brexit voters who have gang banged the country back into a collapsing monarchy loving bunch of neanderthals who presumed Britain would be great again. His lyrics say it all in ten blasts of scathing white sound that are in your face throughout the journey.
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Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here
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