LUVDUMP, ‘AGE OF AUSTERITY’ – ALBUM REVIEW

With a message about everything from organised religion to class war, from the banking crisis to border control, this is an album totally in and of its time. ‘Age Of Austerity’ could have been made under any government of the last three decades but it is all the more poignant and fitting that it has been made under this one. Although Luvdump have been alive and kicking since 2007, ‘Age Of Austerity’ is their debut album and at six years in the making, we’re getting into Guns N’ Roses territory. That’s not to down play their two EP releases, 2008’s ‘Dumpin’ On Society’ or 2010’s ‘Information Is Power’ though, and alongside their prodigious touring; playing every squat, benefit gig, pub, venue, field and D.I.Y. event that they could have got their hands on, Luvdump are most definitely a band that you should have heard of.

Launching into the first tune ‘No Borders’ which really sets the tone, taking its name from the anarchist/immigrant rights group, even if you hadn’t quite grasped the title, this band don’t waste any time pulling punches. Incorporating spoken word segments into the song, in the vein of their contemporaries The Autonomads, and I’m sure many others, leaves no doubts as to intent. Despite the gravelly vocals and obvious message, track two ‘Who Decides The Truth’, sounds incredibly accessible; with almost pop-punk guitar hooks set against no-holds-barred drums, it manages to sound as catchy as it does heavy. It is in fact additions such as these guitar hooks that save the album, despite its ‘Ronseal’ style song names, from sounding as though it slips into hollow, state-the-bleeding-obvious posturing or didacticism. A point that you can dance to will always be heard far more than one that bludgeons you over the head until you run for the bar or skip the track.

Tearing straight back into thundering Hardcore and righteous anger, with the class war call to arms ‘Cutting Class’ and its parting shot “No justice, no peace. Fuck the bankers and fuck the police. ‘Coz we’ve had enough!”, the combination of breakneck speed and nifty, Ska guitar sequences characterises much of the rest of the record. Aside from the Psychobilly intro to ‘For What Price’ and the genius inclusion of an ‘A Muppet’s Christmas Carol’ sample in ‘Burn The Banks’, much of the album thunders through with scarcely a pause. Driven by one of the tightest rhythm sections going, at times it’s almost difficult to breath; which is exactly what you want from angry punks.

The final tune, ‘Some Day’, is arguably the band’s most accomplished and well arranged track, not only on ‘Age Of Austerity’ but of their career so far. With its dampened, picked out guitar intro, the song careens between deafening Hardcore and dubbier sections. The stripped back basslines and duelling guitars create a succession of crescendos as the choral refrain of “We’ll find a better way. We’ll find another way” leaves a sense of optimism despite the record’s palpable frustration and rage. A more polished and produced piece of music, it displays all the invention and skill you would expect to see in a band that have been touring for more than half a decade.

In the end, although this album is perhaps heavier and more sparing with the Dub/Ska elements of Luvdump’s musical pedigree, ‘Age Of Austerity’ is no great departure from previous work in terms of sound or intent, coming off somewhere between Defcon Zero and Bad Religion. But as they say: if it aint broke, don’t fix it. Live, they have a reputation as one of the most energetic bands around and as with so many Punk outfits, they really do need to be seen to be truly appreciated. ‘Age Of Austerity’ is out in CD format, via Manchester based, Pumpkin Records on the 18th of April. You can find the details of the album launch event in Manchester, on the same day, here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/343486545762286/?fref=ts

We at JAM highly suggest you get along to the event if you can as it’s going to be a banger. If not, £4.47 including P&P isn’t exactly going to smash the porcelain pig, so support your scene and get a copy!

Article: Benjamin Paul

http://www.pumpkinrecords.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinrecordsuk?fref=ts

https://soundcloud.com/luvdump

https://www.facebook.com/LUVDUMP

http://luvdump.bandcamp.com/

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