Singing Loins – …Here On Earth CD (Damaged Goods)
Life in the Medway Delta moves at its own pace it seems. Trends, fads and fashions come and go quicker than ever before, but when you slip the Singing Loin’s twelfth album into the player, it all fades into irrelevance. Right from the opening notes of “Hello Heaven”, you are taken on a voyage through middle England past and present. It is a varied journey too, jaunty crude drinking songs sit alongside vaudeville folk and moving working class ballads and it is all performed with passion and grit.
The punk attitude shines through, not necessarily in the music, although the song “Alien” does stand out with its penetrating crescendo reminiscent of Shellac and Sonic Youth colliding mid-air over the acoustic tones beneath. Throughout there is a don’t-give-a-fuck attitude, the Loins don’t shy away from singing about cocks and gropings and puking, without being gratuitous or trying to shock, but because it is a part of what needs to be said and sung. This character can be in part explained by the band’s long-lasting friendship with Billy Childish – just like their industrious companion and label-mate it is clear that the Loins have stayed true to their artistic path uncorrupted. A further testimony to this relationship can be seen right on the cover which is a painting by Childish himself.
Despite the music’s timelessness it sounds fresh and modern benefiting from a crystal clear recording, which is a bit of a departure from their low-fi roots. Fear not, there is no danger of overproduction, the result is a very organic and unpretentious. In fact if this album could be easily defined then it is simply that – a highly humble and honest piece of work. The fact that one of the gigs on their schedule is an in-store appearance in an Oxfam shop speaks volumes for the band.
I can imagine the band not giving a flying fuck what the critics say as it feels like they will carry on along their path regardless. And long may they continue to do so, as ”raw folk” doesn’t come much better than this. Tom Chapman