First, that title. Young Father Alloysious Massaquoi tried to explain it as a request for equality supported by “the best music the band have ever made”, pointing out (not unreasonably) that “folk will complain about absolutely anything”.
Whatever the concept behind the name, or the sticker on the front demanding it be “filed under rock and pop”, he’s right about one thing: WMABMT is without doubt the best music the band have ever made. It will undoubtedly be among the best music anyone will make this year, too.
The Scottish trio’s debut album Dead unexpectedly won last year’s Mercury Music Prize but its follow-up is the superior record. Mixing a dizzying array of genres from rock and pop to hip-hop, funk, soul and electro, it’s vital, joyous and wildly original.
No track can be taken as an indication of what is to come next – 27 and Dare Me are bursting with melody, the danceable groove of Shame is a fine choice for a single and I can almost hear Otis Redding singing Nest’s modern soul – and if the group’s music can be compared to anyone’s it’s that which poured out of Bristol in the early 1990s.
Even in the rarefied company of Massive Attack’s Blue Lines and Tricky’s Maxinquaye, WMABMT could hold its head high and there’s no greater praise than that.
Like this? Try these: Tricky, Maxinquaye, Kate Tempest, Everybody Down
By Andrew Greenhalgh