Where has all the protest music gone? You’re having a laugh, aren’t you… or waiting to be spoon-fed by the mainstream media. Music’s resisters have never shouted louder, they just struggle to be heard in a world tight in the grip of convention. Dig deep, search hard and the rewards are there. By Alan O’Hare.
She Drew The Gun’s first single, ‘Poem’, stopped me in my tracks. “Startlingly original and in possession of a fire burning within,” was what I wrote at the time and its melodic claustrophobic chatter hasn’t dimmed since. Fortunately, neither has the band. On tour right now with label-mates The Coral, and set to release their second album ‘Revolution Of Mind’, the Wirral group are walking the walk. “I crave music that says something,” says singer and songwriter Louisa Roach. “Music that goes beyond simple love songs.”
They talk the talk, too. ‘Revolution Of Mind’, produced by The Coral’s James Skelly at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios, is their shot at the title and shares scope and space with, say, Hurray For The Riff Raff’s recent brilliant breakthrough, ‘The Navigator’. “I believe in questioning the rules and asking who they’re there to serve in the first place,” declares the singer. “I think some of that is down to being queer and not conforming to rules around gender.”
This second record doesn’t conform with any ‘difficult’ stereotypes, either. The album takes off from the platforms left by the likes of the brilliant beauty of ‘Since You Were Not Mine’ and the urgent melodicism of ‘Pit Pony’. There was a clue, perhaps, to the new taut and tight sound of She Drew The Gun in the ice cold cover of The Beloved’s ‘Sweet Harmony’ they put out last year. Sure, the singer’s startling shotgun delivery is still all over new single ‘Resister’ (watch below), but the precision percussion and gloriously guttural guitars suggest that She Drew The Gun sense their time is now: “Empowerment, resisting, arming yourself with knowledge, questioning the status quo… ,” says Roach when asked about the themes of ‘Revolution Of Mind’. “It’s about questioning your own state of mind and how it’s affected by the systems we live in.” A protest record, then. Do me a favour: the next time someone asks you “where has all the protest music gone?” (it’ll be a man), point them in the direction of a band whose aim is true.
It was Charlotte Brontë who described her sister Emily as “… stronger than a man, simpler than a child,” and it’s one label that should be front and centre on ‘Revolution Of Mind’.
She Drew The Gun (supporting The Coral)
Friday October 12th 2018, 7pm
Mountford Hall, Liverpool
‘Revolution Of Mind’, by She Drew The Gun, is out now
Pic courtesy Sonic PR