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Louise Distras - 'Street Revolution' EP Review


1. Street Revolution

2. New World In Our Heart

3. Poor Man

4. Solidarity

Louise Distras is already setting claim that 2019 is going to be her year. Her new EP release "Street Revolution" acts as a precursor to her new album due later this year and a good reason for her to build momentum with a quick tour around the UK.

The whole EP is cohesive, nailing it's colours to the mast straight away as a collection of protest songs armed with hooks and rallying calls to arms. There's a Punk attitude here too, but not in the way you'd expect. There's no angry, snarling vocals spat out with venom at The Man, but instead Louise decides to use "Punk" as a metaphor for protest and change. Why shout to be another angry voice in a crowd when you can subvert in other ways?

The title track opens everything with big hooks and sing along choruses. It's more of a rallying anthem than anything accusatory. Louise has the savvy skills to know this is a good way to start her campaign - get people singing along rather than looking for targets. The song is quite simple, a marching anthem built around a this-can-be-played-anywhere acoustic guitar part. The vocals are really melodic in a way that burrows itself quickly into your brain, you'll find yourself humming it at various times through the day.

The rest of the EP carries along with a theme of protest songs, of rising up. This isn't necessarily just a political thing, you could apply this just as easily thematically to your own personal situation. We all have the self power to change things going on around us and the songs here remind us that we should.

'New World In Our Heart' mines the same thematical vein, drawing a lot more from bands like New Model Army and Ferocious Dog giving the music a darker, folkier feeling. A spoken word section you allows Louise to show her Northern roots; her Yorkshire brogue reminds you that this is someone who's seen the impact of current political climate first hand.

'Poor Man' is a Folk song that's been around now for nearly a century, growing out of the desolation of the Great Depression in the United States and the America and it's frightening to feel that it's just as relevant today as then. There’s still a group of society that still has too much while there's too many out there with too little, kept held under with fear and poverty. Louise provides a simple but effective take on the song, her voice shines strong carrying the song's message on it's melody.

Closer 'Solidarity' is again catchy, it's carried along with a simple guitar and some sparse backing instrumentation. Distras appropriates a great protest song by applying her take of Bob Marley's 'Redemption Song' for the chorus, which works well here. It's not theft, it's appropriation. It takes what Punk was, by taking something and applying it to a new situation. It's not something that's gone on for a long time now, with both Blues and Folk music historically doing this as well. By doing it Louise just reminds us that her influence is drawn from a deep well.

It's a relatively short EP. There’s no real Punk bile and energy, but the songs follow a need to be lean and mean, allowing a direct connection with it's listener without fuss or over complicating things with too many metaphors. It's campfire protest songs, something to sit and sing together with your comrades. When you add in last year's 'Land Of Dope And Glory' into the mix you really start thinking that this new album could be something worth waiting for.

Review - Scott Hamilton

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