It’s such a shame that in times where 80’s social inequality and 00’s economical recession are wreaking havoc on British society, there is an absolute lack of interest in the politically and socially aware music from the biggest labels in the land. We have probably the best new bands on the scene right now, singing their hearts out about what really matters, and somehow it falls on industry’s deaf ears.
It’s hard not to get political when politics and conservative, narrow view of the world, is affecting every part of our lives. If you are a woman, a minority or a disabled person, then you are double affected, penalized and pushed out of arts, culture and prosperity. Unless you are rich or have a famous surname, your chances of succeeding in music biz are looking very slim.
Picture by JWParis
Growing up in the 80’s, for many people like me born behind the Iron Curtain, British music was a voice for change. It was angry, powerful, dark, but not without hope for a better tomorrow. Depeche Mode, Joy Division, even pop starlet Kim Wilde – they were not afraid to voice their political views and still be able to sign a contract with a major. Fast forward to 2022 and we are listening to mumbles about furniture. A long fall from grace from where Genesis discussed forced privatization and OMD raised awareness about nuclear war with their songs.
Please excuse this long into but today, I have the pleasure of listening to a new song from Luna Rosa. And while I was preparing myself to review it, I reached a sad conclusion. This is yet another excellent independent band that has been around for ages, played every grass root venue that still remains open, and they are not where they supposed to be. At this moment in their career, they should be where their counterparts from 40 years ago where – on top 40, backed by British music industry, with prospects to reach audiences globally. Where major labels fail, small independent outfits succeed – Luna Rosa are signed to Vandalism Beings @ Home, a fantastic outfit made out of people who really love music. I truly hope that VB@H and other small labels will somehow break through and have all the fire power to push their acts to wider audiences.
Artwork by Jordan Cameron
Those who had seen Luna Rosa live know that the Corby based quartet are a power-house. We had the opportunity to do so on multiple occasions and there was never a static body at their gig, mostly just crazy mosh-pit, stretching all the way from the stage to the back of the venue. Rory McDade, Luna Rosa lead singer, has one of the most recognizable voices and he knows how to use it. He can scream, he can whisper, he can sing and you never get tired of listening to him.
“Brutal Nature” is probably the best song released by the band so far. Described as “sonic mayhem” and turning “post-punk on its head”, the single feels like a cross between Joy Division, The Birthday Party and (we are dead serious about it) Survivor. Just listen to the tempo change and the synth riff at 1:16 mark second and you will know exactly what we mean! “Brutal Force” also has some sort of a prayer quality to it – half-spoken, half chanted with an uplifting “Hallelujah!” in the middle.
Picture by David Jackson
Lyrically, “Brutal Nature” deals with duality of human behaviour, fragility of existence and being able to accept the chaotic side each one of us possesses. McDade compares it to standing on the cross roads and making a choice of who we will become and what we will do in our lives. It may be an internal struggle but once the war inside of us is won, we emerge as stronger, better people.
Recorded at Magic Garden Studio with Gavin Monaghan at the helm and mixed by David Watts, “Brutal Nature” is an excellent song that should help the band reach new heights, new opportunities and new fans. And I hope this will truly happen. If, for whatever reason, it doesn’t, then British music will be much poorer and as Stabbing Westward eloquently put it nearly 30 years ago, in a deep do-do.
Picture by David Jackson
So, this is how you can help. Vote with your wallet and support those who truly need your support. Choose your local band, your local venue, your local label and local promoters. It may feel like not much, but it really means the survival of real British music.
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Brutal Nature is released today, Friday 13th of May via Vandalism Begins at Home.