••• Life Worth Living •••
Mod-revivalist-revivalists The Spitfires release their 4th album ‘Life Worth Living’.
In a world where a lot of bands aren’t saying a lot, a band like The Spitfires are very much needed right now. From the Mod bands of the past, the likes of The Who, Small Faces and The Kinks to the revivalists The Jam, The Specials and Secret Affair, through to The Ordinary Boys, The Dead 60’s and Dogs these bands all spoke to their generation in a way other bands were too scared to address.
The Spitfires are now set to release their fourth album ‘Life Worth Living’. The band follows this trend and despite still being relatively under the radar, they have attracted a diehard fanbase who will all have been influenced by the list of bands above and also attracting younger fans who will go to discover those bands through The Spitfires.
It’s hard growing up, so finding a band who talks about the same problems that you’re going through, guides you through and shapes you into the adult you become. lately, it is hard to find a band to cling onto in this way. The Spitfires are flying the flag for a generation and will guide you though love, loss, desperation, the mundane, corruption and hope.
The album kicks off with ‘Start All Over Again’, after an unexpected intro the track soon thunders along to a urgent pace and has another unexpected twist with a burst of a sing-a-long “Laa, Laa , laa, laa, la, la laaa”, which will sound incredible with the fans during their live gigs.
The title track ‘Life Worth Living’ is more about dealing with the mundane. The tune is based around a single, middle-aged man whose life revolves around his office job, no social life and only has friends that he despises. The summer ska-like sound is unbelievably infectious and is the tune that you will be humming long the LP has finished spinning.
‘Kings & Queens’ is a similar style and I guess you could call this signature The Spitfires sound now. The lyrics “Day after day, after day, after day we feel there is no escape, underpaid, overweight. We’ve all been lead astray with the hope that someday we’ll all be shown the way.” are very fitting for the times.
‘(Just Won’t) Keep Me Down’ is the other track which is also signature Spitfires. ‘(Just Won’t) Keep Me Down’, ‘Start All Over Again’, ‘Kings & Queens’ and ‘Life Worth Living’ were all released before the album’s release and this also seems a bit of a curveball from the band because the album is so much more but I guess the singles are were you bag the listeners and the album tracks are where you hook the diehard fans.
The album works best when the band still comfortably step out of their comfort zone, the horns and brass on the album are incredible.
‘Tear This Place Right Down’ rumbles along with a funky bass line before the soulful horn section kicks in during chorus and even going a little discotheque along the way.
‘Tower Above Me’ has a ‘Brassbound’ era Ordinary Boys feel, a tune which would have undoubtedly featured on and possible been a single from the album back in 2005 if Preston had written it. “I don’t want to change the world, I just want to prove myself.” Are the lyrics which stand out during the tune.
The biggest wow factor comes from the emotionally charged, cinematic ‘How Could I Lie To You’. The track starts with the sound of rainfall before a piano starts to add to the tension, the goosebump-inducing intro only gets amplified by Billy Sullivan’s harrowing vocals coming from nowhere. The track rallies along with subtle additions added to the background, a clever track where you hear something different with every listen. By the time the trumpet kicks in, you are already lost deep in the track. This would make a brilliant moment in a gritty British film.
‘Have It Your Way’ is a little Lightning Seeds like. A feel-good tune about not giving a fuck. This is the biggest chorus moment too. The track which will, well should be the big single from the album if released, by far the most radio-friendly tune the lads have produced over their four albums.
Ending with ‘Make It Through Each Day’, the track sounds the least Spitfires like, being more a mid 00’s mellow indie tune. It’s a perfect way to finish the album and to finish with another twist just makes you want to start the album again to see how you got to this moment.
The Spitfires have managed to grab the ‘Mod/Soul’ style which has been around since the ’60s and make it sound uniquely theirs and the album is best when the band push the boundaries. The album is full of the soul which will be pleasing to the old and new Mods alike.