24 January 2013

The Levellers - Zeitgeist

Is it right to feel guilty to like a band?  Some people use the word guilty pleasure a lot, for instant I was once seeing a girl who found it really embarrassing that she liked Limp Bizkit. Fair enough she was right on that one, but you should never feel guilty about what you like.  A few of my friends (and some work colleagues over the years) have questioned why I like The Levellers. The main thing that is said is 'Oh, they are gypsies/travelling people who should not be allowed near music' - or words to that effect as some of them are ignorant. Now I do defend them by pointing out that they have a great following in the travelling community, and then generally follow up with how I feel about how they put their argument across with a slap to the back of the head.

This was the fourth album released by the troupe who is based in Brighton, and to be honest it was their last big commercial success.  It reach number one in the UK and had a few hit singles.  It is a slightly more rock orientated affair to their normal more folk-esque musings.  Tracks like "Fantasy", "Leave This Town" & "Hope Street" did crank up the guitar work - granted they didn't sound like Slayer, but it was a change.  Other stand out moments like "The Fear", "Just The One" (which featured Joe Strummer of The Clash on a re-recorded version of it on piano) and "Forgotten Ground"  which all go only it such a fantastic way it still makes me want to pogo around like a jumping bean with chilli stuffed in places that it should not be found.

As with all Levellers album it is inevitable that it is compared to the most revered work - Levelling The Land.  Now whilst it is like comparing two totally different bands in one way, I would actually say that Zeitgeist is almost as good as LTL. There are a few weak tracks on it for sure - "Haven't Made It" & "4 A.M." just pad out the album more than it should - and it does not have the essential carefree vibe of LTL, but it is a cracking album in its own right which has been played very loudly by me many a time!

Overall, it is a landmark album that is forgotten against the classic iconic album which is a shame as it is just a fantastic record in its own right which should be getting as much praise as their other work. So, with no guilt I recommend that you check it out; you may be slightly surprised at something that still sound fresh after 18 years.

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

You can purchase from here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

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