Alas and alack what must a man, woman or passing Dalek make of the state of the music business these days? Where, oh where, is the joy? That’s a good question. An insightful question even but is there an answer or will the following words be merely the desperate attempt of a wordsmith to earn his crust through the underuse of amusing metaphors and the overuse of alliteration?
Yes, there is an answer and that is “Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead” by Scotland's honoured sons of Britpop Saint Max and The Fanatics. It takes but mere minutes of your precious listening time to realise that the deadly self-importance so beloved of serious songwriters is missing here and it has been replaced – Charlotte Church be praised – by what can best be described as actual proper songs fully realised into hymns for the glorious proletariat that never really existed outside the pages of Karl Marx.
Bow and worship therefore to the sheer energy that drives along “Soul Surrender” and “She Sings A Lovely Lullaby”. Nod your head in agreement to the Tarantino-esque way our blessed Saint Max appropriates every high end musical influence and reassembles it into his own statement on the state of popular music in these democracy forsaken times. Whilst you are at it, confess your sins to the beat of the Morrissey style irony that floats the lyrics of the absurdly wry “Glasgow” so far above the water that it could only be a Dorito stealing seagull. The bad fire, it would seem, is halfway between Clydebank and Airdrie and is serviced regularly by a number 2 bus stocked with both cabaret and cabernet. This is style with a horn section, my friends.
In case you did not know, the last great rap album was “Paid in Full” by Eric B & Rakim. As I like to end on a segue, let me say that Saint Max may be missing and The Fanatics may be dead but, with this album, their dues are paid. Paid in full.