Skip to main content
A Magazine for

The Manchester edition of Now Then is no longer publishing content. Visit the Sheffield edition.

536 1561975365

On School Of Language's surprise third album, 45, Peter Brewis shows that he loves Prince and hates Donald Trump, a position I am in agreement with. Across ten tracks of anxious robo-funk, Brewis takes aim at the 45th president, often singing from his point of view.

But much of Brewis's critique is surface level. It's disappointing that a concept album about a man who has put refugee children in cages and is pushing for wars that would destroy Iran and Venezuela doesn't amount to much more than a bad Saturday Night Live sketch.

Most songs deal with Trump's narcissism

Most songs deal with Trump's narcissism, while 'Lock Her Up' is about the sacrifices Hillary Clinton made for the 2016 election, only to be defeated by Trump's aggressively misogynist campaign. Again, singing of sacrifice rings hollow with Clinton, a multi-millionaire who used unpaid prison labour to maintain her home when her husband was Governor of Arkansas, and whose Clinton Foundation directed international donations for Haiti's earthquake into projects involving American corporations, allowing them to profit from the disaster.

The tracks themselves sound great if a little samey, crisply produced yet playfully DIY, and you can tell the record was recorded in a fit of inspiration. The snare-heavy, shuffling grooves, Tom Tom Club-like bass and dashes of staccato synth and guitar could have made another great School of Language record. The release of the album to coincide with Trump's state visit to the UK should have been a great statement. Sadly, it feels like a missed opportunity.

Jack Buckley

Filed under: