Kings Lynn’s Faintest Idea’s latest pun-tastic LP immediately makes an impact by addressing UK issues that seem to be severely lacking in most music scenes in the country. ‘Increasing the Minimum Rage’ covers capitalism, ignorance, gun crime and hatred in its 39 minutes, and while it can be argued that these topics have been covered before, it’s still refreshing to hear a 2016 take on it.
The mix of ska and punk rock has been honed to perfection by British artists over the last few decades, and ‘Increasing the Minimum Rage’ strikes upon a formula of upbeat sounding tunes, angry as hell lyrics, and funky horns a plenty. Vocalist Dani Camp spits out the lyrics with such venom that his confrontational in-your-face vocal style makes for some explosive moments during the album.
The likes of ‘Down Pressure’ utilises classic punk rock gang vocals and harmonies which helps keep everything relatively sane, while ‘Echo Chamber’ has a memorable line in “hatred comes easy when you’re misunderstood” which is barked in unapologetic fashion.
‘Throw Away The Key’ slows the pace down in the middle of the record, but the aggression doesn’t relent with gang chorus “Lock them up, lock them up” bellowing over a ska groove. It’s at this point you get to properly soak up the DIY ethos of the record and the rough and ready production that sounds prominent in an era of shinier digital recordings. That less is more approach gives ‘Increasing the Minimum Rage’ an added authenticity and while some moments on the record can be rather repetitive, there’s a weight on it that can’t be ignored.
As album closer ‘Tightrope’ glides off into the distance (lead by the horns of course), by then Faintest Idea have already revelled in pinning the listener down and holding their eyelids open to modern issues that have reared their ugly head. ‘Increasing the Minimum Rage’ is not destined to be an of the moment, generation defining record that captured the nation’s imagination but at least somewhere in the world, Faintest Idea are fighting their corner.
‘Increasing the Minimum Rage’ is out on the 1st April.
This Faintest Idea article was written by Daniel Luscombe, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.