Our Verdict: 4/5
Release date: Out now
Find it at: Ste McCabe’s Bandcamp page
Review by: DW
Ste McCabe describes himself as a “politicised queer, feminist working class bastard”, and his new album, Brains Of Britain, is a wonderful outpouring of anger and acerbic political comment set against an irritatingly catchy set of tunes.
McCabe has for some time been the leading light in the ‘queercore’ scene, but his music, leaning gently on gritty 80’s punk fused with electropop deserves a wider audience, and his messages about society need to be heard much more widely. This album might just allow that to happen.
Imagine if you will the bastard offspring of Pete Shelly and Julian Cope, working against a backdrop of continued and continuing homophobia, together with barely concealed racism and class divide. McCabe comments on all of these issues without apology, with a sarcastic wit and clarity, and some real musical power.
The album opens with “Fool”, an electro-dance track which sets the scene for some seriously catchy, and catchily serious, tunes which never disappoint. From the wonderful “Chinless Wonders” to the damning “Family Values Song” the music delivers some uncomfortable messages yet still somehow makes you want to get up and dance too.
“Don’t we have nice hair” – for me the most challenging song in the collection – gives a painfully honest first-hand account of homophobia which is simply heart-breaking. “You never forget the first time they call your home to ask if that’s your ma, and does she even know?”
Billy Bragg’s cameo on “Cockroach” might lend McCabe’s voice a little clout in some circles, but listen to the album (more than once, probably more than twice!) and you’ll realise that he really doesn’t need it – his music and lyrics are more than capable of standing up for themselves and this is an album you really OUGHT to take seriously, whatever your particular leanings.
Every track on Brains of Britain has something important to say – and I’d recommend anyone, (especially anyone even remotely considering voting UKIP) to listen, REALLY listen, to what Ste has to say.
As a stranger to ‘queercore’ I can honestly say I’d never have stumbled upon Ste McCabe in a million years.
I’m glad I did.
You should too.
You can watch Ste McCabe’s video for “Cockroach” – made by the queer arts collective Lock Up Your Daughters – below:
Find out more about Ste McCabe at his official website.