Upgraded from Thee Hypnotics, with who Sophie Ellis-Bextor found fame, Thee Faction’s mission is plain and unabashed – to restore to indie pop the ragged-trousered, old school, socialist polemic of the mid 80s – The Redskins, Red Wedge and the like, and not to rest until the last member of Mumford & Sons is strangled with the entrails of the drummer from Coldplay.
Lyrical soundbites such as ‘Bread and circuses don’t keep me satisfied’ and ‘Argue with a Tory, don’t meditate’, require little interpretation. This is a re-imagining of a time when the link between pop and politics was a given in the fight to kick out Thatcher, with the musical weapons of back-to-basics pub rock, skinny R&B, clipped brass and a Clash-like directness.
Titles like Capitalism Is Good For Corporations; That’s Why You’ve Been Told Socialism Is Bad All Your Life, as well as the Soviet-style sleeve graphics suggest they’re ruefully aware of the aesthetic difficulties of agit-pop delivery, especially nowadays.
But their tongues are only partly in cheek. This is 100 per cent fun and they 100 per cent mean it, man. Catch live.