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Rage Against Florence + the Machine by Unlucky Fried Kitten (album reviews)

Updated on January 22, 2016
The album front cover
The album front cover | Source

Rage Against Florence + the Machine

On December 7th 2011 I uploaded the UFK song called 'Rage Against Florence + the Machine' to YouTube. In May 2013 a band in America called themselves 'Rage Against Florence and the Machine' Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...someone famous once said.

I digress

I have had a few nice reviews so I am making this blog to put some of these reviews on the net (I tend to get reviews in fanzine-type things rather than online things, so I am preserving the sentiment for posterity)




Rage Against Florence & the Machine is Kent's Andy Fraser who writes songs, sings, programmes drums and plays guitar, keyboards and all the other instruments on this wildly catchy album, all by himself. The 80-s style synth-pop intro to opening track The Seventies is inauspicious , but as soon as Andy's vocals and rhythmically faultless guitars kick in with the words "Pity me if I seem obtuse/With tell-tale signs of drug abuse/Addictive personality/Nurtured in the 70's" it turns into something else entirely. The lyrics are delivered in a slurred, but crystal clear fashion in which every word sounds as clear as a bell, as do all the instruments, and Andy's vocal style sounds like a less irritating version of Ian Dury , who, let's face it, never wrote or sang a decent song in his life (blogger's note...that'll be me then...Not my opinion but the reviewer has his own opinion) RAF&TM, by contrast, is witty, clever economic and precise. Not a word or note is wasted and the album is medium-paced, yet relentless. It is full of good tunes , and words of keen observation, seemingly effortless rhyming and unforgettable poetry, which are generally hilarious even when they tackle sad subjects. The songs, according to the sparse sleeve notes, are 'written in various pubs around Maidstone' and the shadow of tatty Kent seaside towns and the mundanities of what passes for everyday life there haunt the material throughout. The region, as described, makes the listener happy to live instead in the mean streets of South East London. We are treated, therefore, to tales of cheap tattoo parlours, run-down cafes, flea-pit boarding houses , former lovers, dead friends, children buying cigarettes from scruffy vans and the market where the singer buys his potatoes and onions. , all described in an earnest but darkly comic manner

This is as commercial-sounding and radio-friendly album (blogger's note...that'll be my irritation then...try telling that to the radio stations) as I have heard in ages, and ,yet, I'll bet no radio station have heard of it, and neither would I have done unless an unsolicited copy had arrived in SAMH 's postbox.

There's a rumour that the successful pop group Florence & the Machine's legal team are trying to prevent the album's distribution. Andy Fraser's grudge against them, it seems, is based on the perception that people listen to them, and not him. The final song is called 'My Ridiculous Neighbour' in which an unnamed and quite possibly random individual becomes the subject of quite vicious and murderous invective. The neighbour in question, we are told, grows tomatoes on his window-sill 'like they are his children' He drinks beer in the mornings and sleeps in the afternoon and he's a 'little bit soft'. He will 'Never see the rainbow in the sky/Because he never looks at life like you and I' It's a measure of some of the lyrical ambiguities of this record that it's unclear whether Andy Fraser is singing about someone he genuinely dislikes, or his listeners, or even himself. Whichever way, if you want a copy, you're advised to buy one quickly, before it's banned


This is a review from Wax Cylinders of Excitement which is written by an old friend from at least 30 years ago. We didn't mix a great deal in them there ragged days of the 80's and we haven't seen each other since. Just explaining that so you understand it is a valid review. Not just some friend helping me out. Also...can't type it up cos one of 'hub-pages' policies is that it can't have been published elsewhere (but I can share the link and the screenshots)

He writes some great stuff
He writes some great stuff | Source

The review


The reviewer, Lawrence, in this review, does make reference to the instant cutting from one track to the next. Harking back to my earlier statement about doing the whole lyric for the entire album in one take so as to stay true to how I do it live...I also didn't want a void between tracks because I don't have a void when I do it live because I don't want that awkward 'no applause' situation after a song. I'd rather get through the set and if the audience wants to applaud at the end, then so be it. Also...I want to keep my momentum going

Hiroshima Yeah!


Because I find Florence + the Machine's popularity completely baffling (they are SO F***ING DULL ! And why do people insist on calling them Florence AND the Machine when surely it should be Florence PLUS the Machine?!), this CD had my utmost respect before I even PLAYED it. The cover states that the songs were "written in various pubs around Maidstone" (another plus point) and that everything was played, sung and arranged, in true megalomaniac style, by a guy called Andy Fraser. Opener "The Seventies" sets the scene: It's a darkly humorous tale of growing up eating "egg and chips and processed peas" and "nicking milk from the local shops" which also references drug abuse and being in a children's home. Over accomplished full-band backing that is sometimes reminiscent of Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Andy croons in the sing-speak style of people like John Plant from Diary and Frank Bangay, with the lyrics also reminding me of Half Man half Biscuit as they leaven often bleak subject matter (car crashes, ex-girlfriends, unrequited love etc) with lots of laugh-out-loud moments. Other stand-out tracks include "Alice Glass", "Shop in the Precinct", "The Horror at the Belvedere Hotel", "Piano Lessons are Cancelled for Mary-Jane", "Welcome to Gravesend" and "My Ridiculous Neighbour". Best of all, though, is "Little Things" which has lyrics like "A cow explodes in Ponders End and someone films it for a friend" and "Come with me and split the atom/Albert Einstein lived in Chatham" Ha!


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