Crass are one of those bands that the average punter isn't going to take a risk on, so fair play to our Jeff for being the door opener to the indie schmindy kids.
Jeffrey Lewis – 12 Crass Songs
First things first. I can't get the cartoon booklet out of the CD sleeve. Is this a deliberate ploy? If so it's succeeded in irritating the SHIT out of me. It looks like a cartoon story and I reckon it's the one I've seen in the adverts for this LP. Still this album is the result of an inspired idea, make no mistake.
Firstly Crass are one of those bands that the average punter isn't going to take a risk on, so fair play to our Jeff for being the door opener to the indie schmindy kids. You soon begin to realise that Jeffrey's deadpan delivery really lets the Crass lyrics stand out in all their embittered, chattering glory. Check I Ain't Thick It's Just a Trick out for proof.
And it has to be said, Lewis's way with a melody and arrangement has given these songs a new lease of life. The Gasman Cometh boasts a tremendous arrangement with the flute lending a dolorous note to the incredibly bleak lyricism whereas Banned From the Roxy is a funny sub Eddie Cochran run through and, wait for it - cello brings a surprising poignancy to Where Next Columbus? Elsewhere Big A, Little A is a slob fest par excellence that really opens up into something special and Walls (Fun in the Oven) is daft but in a really inspiring way.
Lewis is donating half the monies raised to charities that Crass would approve of, so I'd suggest you buy it without delay.
Words: Richard Foster