The Ladder Factory Sessions – The Racket

If live The Racket come across as a riot of uncompromising attitude and swagger, committing them to a record reveals a whole raft of subtleties that are often buried by the on stage experience. Not that the studio has removed any of their inbuilt bravado but it has revealed some interesting, less obvious aspects of the band. Like how good a lyricist Plummie actually is once the words are laid clearly before you, what a great platform the rhythm section lay down on which to build the more immediate melodies and more importantly what great songs they manage to craft.

 

They may be the gutter anthems of life’s dark underbelly but there is a lot going on here that raises them above a slew of other bands, bands that are happy to be mere post Libertines copyists or Twisted Wheel wannabes.

 

Oddly enough for me the high point of the album comes in the slow reflections to be found in Three Little Letters, spare, considered music and emotive thoughts moulded into a wistful view of the past.

 

That said when they are in their more expected raucous mode, they still know how to impress along the way whilst revealing some interesting influences, intentionally or otherwise. The Prat @ Number 12 is filled with the baggy, bass driven Mancunian bile of Happy Mondays; Knock Knock Knock has the indie urgency of Arctic Monkeys in freefall and all through the e.p. there are nods to everything from The Clash to The Kicks to pre-Beatles fixation Oasis plus a bit of post-punk urgency wrapped in a lot of contemporary indie cool.

 

The Ladder Factory Sessions is an important stepping stone for the band, it shows that they have matured, it shows that they have the songs, it shows that they are not just some local music fodder, even thought they are not yet a national concern, but it will certainly be very interesting to see what happens next.

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