THE CLAIM – The New Industrial Ballads – ****
“Long-awaited” may be a knackered old cliche but no one can deny The Claim’s first new album in over 30 years is exactly that. Hot on the heels of their recently re-released “lost” masterpiece Boomy Tella, this belated follow up is confirmation – if any were needed – that The Claim were always rather special.
Fans of old will love it. Now freed of the technological restraints of the past, the Kent four-pice have created a record that’s both lyrically relevant and sonically impressive. Frontman David Arnold (who works as a full-time fire fighter!) is sounding better than ever – the once pesky Morissey-lite warble gone and as well as their songs being more subtly tuneful, the band still has an electrifying instrumental power.
Penultimate track ’30 Years’ most perfectly illustrates why The Claim are the missing link between The Kinks and Blur. Written and performed by their friend Vic Templar, it’s a cheeky ‘Parklife’-style narrative about the disconnect between scientific advancement and social happiness.