Ladies and gentlemen, for this week’s Track of the Week we’re going back to a band that are also coincidentally on This Feeling’s Big In 2018 tour. Maybe it just so turns out that all these acts are shit-hot.
Giving me scary flashbacks to university lectures on Marxism, this week’s belter comes from Proletariat, with the ravenous ‘Kiss of Death’.
My very first impression of the track was one of appreciation, as a properly meaty bass tone seems to be going out of fashion these days, so props to Proletariat for momentarily resurrecting this under-appreciated cornerstone of any band.
My second, and slightly more worrying impression was of the stellar vocal performance. James Cummins holds an uncanny audio resemblance to Miles Kane. Now I appreciate that comparisons to the Liverpudlian are far too common, but has anyone actually checked where Miles Kane is? I know he’s doing an album after The Last Shadow Puppets wrapped up, but has he been misplaced? Are we sure there hasn’t been a mix-up? Although his efforts do make the word ‘elongated’ sound surprisingly top, a sentence that I didn’t expect to write today.
Regardless, the Mancunian punk band has done a top job here. As with any punk band, their lyrics, their sound, and even the first impression they generate all resonate thoroughly with the modern issues faced by a broken Britain – It’s no wondered they’re getting substantial radio plays already.
Just like our previous Track of the Week from Anteros, ‘Kiss of Death’ is filled to the brim with attitude. In a traditionally anti-establishment protest song, this is a necessity, but Proletariat doesn’t use attitude as an excuse for poor musicianship. The tune is fundamentally punk, but it still has technical elements.
Even in the straightforward chorus, which is primed and ready to be chanted at a moment’s notice, the chords used are usually associated with upbeat, positive and optimistic songs. Pairing the oppressed lyrics with a traditionally bright and full-sounding backing track makes for an interesting juxtaposition which is only furthered in the following solo.
This track took me back in time – their aggressive, hungry sound mirrors traditional narratives of class struggle, but this is more Slaves and Pretty Vicious than Pulp or Billy Bragg. Picture deceased romantic poet William Blake singing a protest song against the church, then proceeding to firebomb a country club, and you might just be in the right frame to appreciate this track.
Catch Proletariat headlining This Feeling’s Big In 2018 Manchester gig, if you’ve got tickets that is as its unsurprisingly sold out – sorry to get your hopes up then. Why not try some lovely musical goodness from The Kavaliers, Sisteray and Teeff in Sheffield instead?