“These supernova tracks from Britain’s sons offer goodness floating somewhere between The Smiths, Blur and The Chameleons, but with the sheer positivity of The Railway Children” – The Record Stache
“Pure Englishness with lasting integrity. The Claim sound as great today as they did at the height of their popularity… The Claim could have been Wembley Stadium-filling prog rockers. Fortunately they never listened to anyone, ever” – Buzzin Music
“It’s no secret that members of Blur were fans of The Claim, enough to borrow from their sound for their early material. This is not surprising at all, especially considering how catchy, fun and upbeat this music is” – The Noise Journal
“The Claim wrote exquisite songs of love, loss and social commentary… Some of the most exquisite and exhilarating pop this side of The Turtles” – Pop Junkie London
There is no English or British equivalent of Americana. If there were, it might sound something like ‘The New Industrial Ballads’ and The Claim would be seen as one of the originators of the genre. This is not simply an English group playing American music. This is a group of musicians making a beautiful and original hybrid that channels the root ingredients of classic English guitar music – a tasteful combination of folk (Bert Jansch, Nick Drake), thoughtful, melodic pop (Michael Head, Ray Davies), and angular politically-tinged pop (Paul Weller, Elvis Costello, The Wolfhounds) into something that is contemporary and original.
‘The New Industrial Ballads’ presents the group’s sound 30 odd years later if they had continued to play and develop, rather than quit. It’s different, it’s interesting but it is still distinctively in the mould that made the group the true pioneers of Britpop in the late 80s and early 90s.
The idea behind ‘The New Industrial Ballads’ is to celebrate the noble tradition (the lineage of which runs through folk, ballads, skiffle, the Kinks, to punk and beyond) of ordinary people singing about everyday concerns and the issues of the day that impact on working lives. We can highlight three quick examples. ‘Journey’ is about economic migration, the characters involved, the need to fight passionately for a fight the right of all to move to work. In ‘Estuary Greens and Blues’, David Read reflects on the passing years and a changing industrial landscape as he walks the shore of the Thames estuary. ‘30 Years’ is a collaboration with writer Vic Templar, who narrates a poignant and prescient tale contrasts mankind’s inability to progress politically and spiritually with technological advances (a follow-up to The Claim’s cult classic ‘Mike the Bike’, released on Bob “Saint Etienne” Stanley’s Caff label in 1990).
FORMAT: 300 copies on black vinyl with lyric sheet
Johnny Kidd’s Right Hand Man
Smoke And Screens
The Haunted Pub
When The Morning Comes
Just Too Far
Estuary Greens And Blues
A Turntable Friend TURN65