Southern Tenant Folk Union, Join Forces. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

If there is anything in the world that is sadly lacking as we steam headlong and at times with no thought but selfish preservation running through our minds, it is that how much greater a species we could be if we actually listened, if we paid attention to what was being said without thinking what our reply would be. That if we were to Join Forces with those whose opinions veered completely in the opposite direction to us, we might perhaps actually achieve more, that by listening without raising our voices ever higher, we might just become more evolved than squabbling apes fighting over land, oil and water.

To Join Forces with Southern Tenant Folk Union is to be seen as a pleasure, to go beyond the realm of their previous and unbelievably cool album, The Chuck Norris Project, is to link arms with a band to whom music is not just passion, it is life, it is the eavesdrop into the conversation that becomes the destined realisation of dreams fulfilled.

Turmoil though is always a great leveller for making music, the inspiration boils over when it comes to strife, inequality, the touches of a world that is not just insane but that the radical cannot even find a way to defend it. In unity there may be strength but once it is achieved it doesn’t have the legs to protest anymore. Division may be the least respectable option but it doesn’t half inspire great song writing and beautiful thought and it is in that thought and mindful reflection that Southern Tenant Folk Union bring the songs on the album out to bear fruit and with such ease of character.

In To The War, the incredible The Media Attacks, the generational divide of hope and pleasure in My Grandfather’s Father, the poignant question of What Would You Give For A Leader With Soul and the honesty in Our Revolution It Will One Day Come, Southern Tenant Folk Union make their way perfectly through the mire of political damnation and ask that even if you don’t agree, you at least acknowledge the pain and suffering that many are experiencing in the race to prove that the dogma you created is nothing more than futile.

A great sequel to The Chuck Norris Project, one that might be seen as more on the traditional side of the folk but one that is better for the love it receives, Southern Tenant Folk Union have reached into their souls and come up with a terrific and well argued album.

Ian D. Hall