A folk punk band from the midlands I’ve seen live supporting The Wildhearts several years ago are now on album number six and remaining true to their core sound of raging against the machine and other social injustices this wholesome ensemble like nothing more than rebel-rousing with a sound not a million miles from that of the Levellers using a multitude of instruments to accompany the message the lyrics are trying to put across and generally doing it well.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out from the song titles what the band’s MO is and with their hearts collectively on their sleeves. Now the first thing I notice before I get to the music is the vinyl is only your Twelve tracks however the CD version has a budget-busting sixteen songs and an impressive 20-page booklet.

The album kicks off with a ferocious ‘Witch Hunt’, a breakneck jig that has a wholesome pace and duelling banjo and fiddle to boot if their live set starts with this then that’s a high bar to get the pit whirling and reeling to. It even comes with a brief breakdown before hurtling off. ‘Sus Laws’ is of course a Tory thing about the police and the powers given to stop and search pretty much anyone (unless you’re of white privilege stock of course), 

Without pause for breath, the title track steams in. More New Model Army than Levellers to my finely tuned ears. We then take a breather (not) as ‘ Iron Mike Malloy’ is a rebel-rousing slice of prime time Pogues-style Irish folk.

‘Merthyr Rising’ is a historic tale that sways from traditional folk to thunderous punk rock in the blink of an eye.

‘A Place We Call Home’, is a penny whistle and acoustic guitar as the dreamy lyrics set the scene on a track that was Described by Ken as the band’s Fairytale Of New York, some song to aspire to but the vocal back and fore is a beautiful thing.

Blood Soaked Shores’, sees the band back on the jig with another upbeat romp mashing up the folk with something altogether more punk rock. Coming on like the Clash riffing on the Batman theme ‘Darker Side Of Town’ is the most excellent straight-down-the-line rocker. The other side of the band is ‘Matty Groves’ a straight folk tune.

‘Running With The Hounds’, grows from the strum of the acoustic guitar and snare to a rousing all in rapid climax. ‘Then there’s ‘Moby Dick’, complete with its lapping waves and seagull sound effects its a dark tale like a punk rock Sea Shanty (not my cuppa at all and the weakest track on offer thus far).

The vinyl album signs off with the fury of ‘Anger On The Streets’, a suitably thrashier affair and a full bloodied punk rock riffs no fuckin about here just full-on fury. Nice.

Now for those who pick up the CD deluxe edition, The first of the four extra songs begins with ‘Brixton’s Burning’ a Ferocious Dog kinda song or something you’d expect the band to dish up.  ‘Protest Singer’s Blues’, Wheezes into view with a gob iron work out only matched by the banjo plucking and the rapid snare rolls. The penultimate track ‘Tell God And The Devil’ is one of the album’s highlights and a shame it’s not accommodated on the wax press coming on like Prime Bad Religion. ‘The Protest Singer’ is a gentle acoustic number to close off the album and give the chance fo the listener to reflect on a band in full flight and hitting a career high which is what it’s all about isn’t it?

Ferocious Dog fans will be delighted with ‘Kleptocracy’ and the quality on offer and new fans will be drawn in on the strength of the songs individually or as a complete body of work. Get involved it’ll reward you in these tough times.

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Author: Dom Daley