LOCAL: James R. Bell
James R. Bell’s new album, Communist Propaganda, is replete with titles such as Gramsci at the Train Station, END AUSTERITY NOW! and Poetry for Vladimir Lenin. Yep Toto, I’ve a definite feeling that we’re not in indie-landfill territory anymore. It’s a spoken word album and the words being spoken are imbued with real passion, particularly on tracks such as There’s a War Coming: “Syria, a vortex, a spiral of cracked bones / Here empires crash / Here a long night descends on the earth / And battalions march against battalions / Men thread men with the rat-a-tat-tat of US machine guns / Irradiated Israeli bullets and British hand grenades” And The Labour party – from its inception to the present day – gets skewered in The Red Rose Means Death.
These tracks are where Bell turns the ranting up to the max, but he’s more reflective elsewhere when he talks about performing his work in bars where he can’t afford to buy a drink, or gives us snapshots of his day to day existence, which have an Ivor Cutler ring to them (“Every morning when I smoke my cigarette / I smile at the lollipop lady / I say hello and I smile wearing floral pyjamas / she ignores me except to move a plastic bag filled with pulp romance novels”). I prefer these tracks, but that’s probably down to my bourgeois love of Pointless or something.Seek: https://jrbml.wordpress.com