If Youâre Satisfied Youâre Dead
Amusingly claiming to combine the spirits of ASBO and MENSA Londonâs November Five are very knowing but also very, very good.
With a music journalist in their ranks they are not going to be short of understanding the game and the right records to measure themselves up against and this is a good thing. The album is full of reference points and classic scuzzy corners of modern rock colliding with all those records you loved that poked out of the underground in the last few decades.
A combination of classic Brit post punk and American Alt rock is a big influence on their sound and you can hear it stitched into this collection of song. There is also a rather interesting twist of rainy northern bands like Joy Division and the Bunnymen to the sound and they have perhaps made that scuzzy garage punk rock record that you suspect Hooky and Barney really wanted to make before Martin Hannet turned their raw riffing into the eternal future sound.
Clever lyrics with a twist of melancholia combine with the garage band riffing that harks at the distorted, fuck forever riffola drones of primetime Stooges but with a very English twist. The album sounds like Echo and The Bunnymen jamming with those American bands who have made careers out of knicking the best of the Limey post punk bands.
Vocalist Joe Cribben croons like Ian Mcculloch or Ian Curtis or a Postcard Records frontman after a couple of decades of living as he delivers his sharp and poignant lyrics as the rest of the band seethe through a classic collection of guitar driven songs that clear out the cupboard of those beloved vinylâs.
Great rock n roll does not have to be startling original and if it is played with this much love and this much passion it makes sense. Like curators of a particular loved antique, November Five hold the flame for all that we loved about rock n roll before it was trapped into pretend alternative culture and the curse of indie and have somehow managed to find something fresh in the timeless template.
A precise and powerful album, November Five have made a record that the Killers wished they could make and in the upside down modern world could cross over massively with their dark guitar driven gems.