The Levellers: Static On The Radio

Raggle-taggle rebels find ferocious form on tenth album.

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Economic woe and military engagements make the time ripe for alt-lifestyle survivors The Levellers to deliver a rousing state-of-the-nation address, and Static On The Radio fits the bill.

Recorded in Prague with West Country folk-rock producer Sean Lakeman (the secret weapon in his brother Seth’s musical advance) at the controls, the album gives focus and punch to long-nurtured musical resources and lyrical themes.

Contemporising the cautionary trad tune Recruiting Sergeant and delivering what’s bound to be a new anthem in the invigorating and similarly seafaring Raft Of The Medusa, they are truly energised and in fearless fettle. The seemingly disparate elements – raging fiddle, eruptive electro – find heartening balance in the finely calibrated moods of the world-weary Traveller and the defiant Gunmen.

The Levellers album to silence the critics and repay the faithful is here – tune in.

Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.