Recorded during the lockdown in July 2020. Spear Of Destiny has re-recorded the hit album ‘World Service’. I’m sure there are those who’ve clicked here wondering why? Royalties? Those less cynical amongst us might have recently read Kirks reasons where he sites the original production being a pop/rock record which was never his intention and whilst Rusty Egan did a job (and a jolly good one too) Brandon was never happy and with a settled, more Rockin line up currently playing the songs. Also, it was a chance to change the artwork – (oh well you can’t have everything even if this new one is better than the ’80s version.) The tracklisting has been arranged and to be fair Brandon’s recent explanation makes sense and this re-imagination is certainly a lot harder hitting. Following on from 2019’s rerecording of ‘One-Eyed Jacks’
Trying to put fresh ears on a record I’ve played hundreds of times isn’t an easy thing but I will say I’ve not actually played it for a few years to be fair and probably the last time I did was when Brandon was touring with mike peters under the dead men walking banner so there you go.
Opening with ‘World Service’ the re-recording has a punch that’s for sure and the saxophone wails perfectly the other thing I notice is Brandon’s vocals are infinitely stronger. He has a unique style that’s instantly recognisable and there are moments here where he really excels like on the punchy ‘I Can See’.
I was never keen on the piraty ‘Come Back’ although I would say here it sounds more Strummer than Strummer ever did on his Mescaleros recordings. The breakdown and sax is excellent here and the song isn’t as piraty as I remember it being. To be fair its songs like this that have benefitted most from the re-recording.
‘Mickey’ is still a chest pumping classic. Now minus the ’80s drum sheen and overall compression squeezing the life out of everything having it stripped away has breathed new life into all these songs. The original album opener ‘Rocket Ship’ has fallen down the tracklist and has a harder rockier edge breathed into it which is another good reason to have done this.
One of the songs that strangely was more “Rock” on the original for me is ‘Last Card’ but having the ’80s Rusty shaken out of it makes the song brighter. ‘Walk In My Shadow’ is possibly the song that’s changed the least with it still having that Blues based undercoat workout. ‘Up All Night’ reminds me a bit of Adam And The Ants with the guitar sound and drum beat but that where the comparisons end.
To finish off this rework is a beautiful piano-led take on ‘Young Men’ which fits perfectly as some sort of come down and mellow out from what’s gone before. I haven’t seen the line up with Craig Adams in and I can’t understand why that hasn’t taken place so once we’re all able to venture back inside a venue I will be taking myself to see the band and hear how this reworked album unfolds live – but then Brandon always excelled live. It’s a no-brainer for diehards but for casual fans and newcomers, it’s a great place to jump in. Like the titles tracks lyrics “It only seemed like yesterday, I hear music” where did all those years go? Two reworks and both well worth investing in with this one being the boldest and brightest. Great job.
Author: Dom Daley