ALBUM REVIEW: ONSIND – We Wilt, We Bloom | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Released: 17.11.17







Illustration by Jack Fallows

Let’s face it, things aren’t exactly going smoothly in the world today. The country is in the hands of a government more interested in personal power than governance, we’re staring at decades of animosity with our neighbours in Europe thanks to said personal interest politics whilst being told to be more optimistic/patriotic, and the populace seem more divided than ever thanks to right-wing hatred stirred up by the press to prop up Brexit and the Tories. To make matters worse, Cliff Richard is about to go on tour. Thankfully, Durham’s political punks ONSIND are back with their first album in four years to address all of these issues and more (except the Cliff Richard thing, that’s just something we all have to deal with in our own way).

We Wilt, We Bloom is a laser-focused scalpel of an album. It cuts into the politics of 2017, peeling back the veneer of civility that covers the everyday lies we’ve heard for so long now – that immigrants take all the jobs, that benefits claimants are scroungers – to expose the sheer awfulness of what’s happening and attempt to reintroduce some humanity to the situation. Take, for example, Loyalty Festers, which wraps up by sampling an argument by the rapper Akala about the cause and effect of racism in the UK today. It forms a haunting soliloquy that resonates perfectly and shows just how much ONSIND have grown in terms of forming their style of punk rock with a moral conscience. Claimant is another example of the accessible yet stirring qualities of the band, as it takes aim at the Department of Work and Pensions without a single minced word or bush beaten around.

Political themes aren’t the only topic of conversation however (ONSIND are anything but one-note), as first single, Immature, proves. Music-wise, ONSIND have employed a rounder sound than ever before on We Wilt, We Bloom. The cross-pollination with their other band, the ever-popular Martha, yields a poppier side that helps the songs to settle rather than blunting the message behind them.

We Wilt, We Bloom is a confident and welcome return from a band who still have plenty to say and know how to do it. It’s good to have them back in these troubled times.

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