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THEATRE OF HATE – ‘Kinshi’ Album Review


theatre-of-hateCrowd funded via the Pledge Music platform, Theatre of Hate have released their new album and you will not be disappointed! From the opening guitar chords and John Leonard’s saxophone of Black Irony I am catapulted back to the early 1980’s as Kirk and the boys deliver a truly great Theatre of Hate composition.

Façade opens with some jazz style saxophone backed by Stan’s bass and Kirk’s soft guitar. Kirk Brandon’s voice remains as strong and distinctive as ever and meshes well with the up front sax. The track travels for a full four minutes and even brings in some of those military drum rolls first heard on the Live in Leeds debut album.

After two strong but different opening tracks, Day of the Dog ups the tempo, breaks for a bass and sax interludes and makes a reference to the past with the lyric “do you believe in Westworld?” – It’s like the band have managed to keep everything that made Theatre of Hate so special but have built upon it, mutated the DNA to create a new and 2016 version. The song propels along and is sure to be a crowd pleaser when played live.

Eyeless in Gaza has a New Model Army bass line as Kirk laments the “blindness” in Middle East caused by the “eye for an eye” politics. With a Love is a Ghost saxophone sound and the chugging bass, Kirk gets operatic and the whole thing works with a challenging menace below the melody.

Kinshi is a full-blooded 12-track masterpiece and has been on continuous play here since we downloaded it earlier today. ToH do not short change their fans at all and the five minute 39 second Pleasured slows things down allowing Kirk’s voice the room to soar above a simple guitar lick. The song slowly builds and builds describing sadomasochistic er…. liaisons. Next up is Slave – a song about how women are slaves to the fashion industry. It’s a truly superb effort full of power and containing everything that makes the band standout from the lung busting vocals to the rhythmic bass, John’s soaring sax and the tribal infused drums. Kit Kat Club sees Kirk turn his attention to, well, a “fabulous fool.”

Maintenance Man flirts with a quasi reggae beat with some quite lovely voice and sax. There is a sadness in the description of a global yet local working class guy doing what he can to get by. Triumph picks up the working class theme and takes it a stage further celebrating the victory of the poor all driven by the signature bass of Stan Stammers before the chorus uplifts the entire experience.

Kirk then takes aim at the very person who embodies the elite Mr Mandacity focuses on Donald Tr*mp. The song sneaks up on you with a persistent rhythm before Kirk directs some barbs at the worse thing to happen to America since Nixon. Ten songs in and its evident that ToH have returned with a vengeance. As relevant today as they were when they first appeared on the scene. The penultimate song, Ukraine Girl revisits an Eastworld type treatment. It rocks along with the drums urgent and up front in the mix – loved it!

The album closes with Venice a song that opens with a lullaby style guitar lick and a tight snare drum before Kirk croons in his unique style. I simply adored this return to form from ToH and they deserve wider recognition and success. For more on the album and a forthcoming tour check out the Kirk Brandon website here :


N/b Don’t forget, the deluxe edition of ‘Westworld’ is also due out in November – all details can be found here>>>



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