Spectacular hard rock from the loony enemy

The Enemy UK is another awesome disco punk band from England, and they might be one of the most promising bands to date. In their album “We’ll Live and Die In These Towns,” The Enemy UK has the political edge of the punk band Bloc Party, but with string ensembles, choirs, horns and dreamy keyboards that take their punk songs to another level. Musically, they are one of the most exciting bands in the punk rock scene.

Their first single, “40 Days and 40 Nights,” proves their awesome rock prowess. Andy Hopkins plays a killer bass line with a rocking guitar rhythm, before drummer Liam Watts and guitarist Tom Clarke pull out the stops with smashing cymbals and power chords. Clarke sings about a wicked image of the government as a pimp who spends too much time sleeping with girlfriends and not even helping its own citizens.

The Enemy UK is great at both blasting stereo power chord orchestrations, but their lyrics leave a lot to be desired. “It’s Not Okay” is an awesome song opening with loud, epic power chords, before the band lowers their volume to let Clarke take the microphone. But Clarke’s lyrics are a little insensitive. For example, he sings “Your clock is ticking fast, friend, believe me/You only get one chance, can you hear me/It’s not okay to be this way/It’s not okay to be a slave.” But according to the band, the song is based on the closing of a car factory in the Coventry, which put 2,300 workers into unemployment.

Although The Enemy UK is sending politically incorrect messages, the song “Away From Here” is a wildfire entourage, where Clarke blurts out in the most melodic voice, “I’m so sick, sick, sick and tired of working just to be retired/I don’t want to get that far/I don’t want your company car.” But that isn’t as awesome as the smooth way that they add in the guitar strums in a building crescendo to the thumping beat of the bass drum. By the time Watts brings in the snare drum and cymbals, Clarke switches to a beautiful echoing guitar sound and sings the irresistible lyrics “It’s much easier for me, see/to stay at home with Richard and Judy/Away away oh oh oh/Away from here.”

The Enemy UK hasn’t gotten the wholehearted welcome they deserve from the United States, partly because they started touring at the same time that Warner Brothers released their album in the U.S. I am vouching for them by giving a high recommendation to The Enemy UK. However, I have to warn rock fans that their singer is even preachier than Bono from U2. Even though their lyrics are not as thoughtful as the Arctic Monkeys’ narrations of life in poverty, The Enemy U.K. plays great music. Just be aware that they’re somewhat flawed in their political message.


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