Buckle up rockers and rollers - Issue 27 of the UK's boomiest music mag Vive Le Rock has just hist the shelves. Featuring, The Who at 50, Brian James on his new band and life after The Damned, gig, new music and reissue reviews - including a a critical ear from me on Suzi Quatro's Greatest Hits...
One review that didn't make ish 27, is The Payroll Union's new album.. but nothing goes to waste so dig in and taste test below...
Paris in America - The Payroll Union
Philadelphia freedom. Virtue, liberty and independence - from South Yorkshire!
From ‘Sgt. Pepper’ to SHAM’s ‘That’s Life’ to Beck’s Grammy winning ‘Morning Phase’ – the appeal of the concept album is format that’s never faded – certainly not for frowny-browed song-scribblers . Although Payroll Union take an unusual spin on the medium of story-arcs-expressed-through-music, aligning themselves more with Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worlds’ than your usual long-form haul.
An album produced in collaboration with University of Sheffield, where folk ‘n’ roll meets battle re-enactment. ‘Paris in America’ takes as its source – ‘a narrative of Philadelphia in the 1840s and '50s, based on the antebellum with its tales of violence and conflict’, for an authentically academic take covering a specific time-slice of American history (with annotated sleeve notes), which could act as a metaphor for today’s current political climate.
Sonically it’s a Philadelphia experiment shifting between shades of Handsome Family meet Fleet foxes and Divine Comedy communing with Arcade Fire