If the last few years have taught us anything, rock’s not dead, far from it. Similarly, punk is thriving. You only have to look at Frank Carter’s continued success with his outfit The Rattlesnakes, and Idles’ non-stop dominance. And as the latter are more than happy to put the current ills of society under the microscope, Louise Distras has been doing the same for a number of years.
Following up her 2013 album with a string of singles (such as “Outside of You” and “Land of Dope and Glory”) and constant touring, Street Revolution brings four solid tracks to the fore as Distras’ most mature work to date. She’s not changed her musical direction, either. It’s still raw and punk as fuck. Armed mainly with her acoustic guitar, she shows the world you don’t have to be smashing out chords and dressing as a trope to make the cut. Sure, the acoustic guitar brings with it a more folky-vibe and she knows how to write a hook, but it’s still punk.
The political landscape of the UK, and indeed, the world may have changed since Dreams From the Factory Floor but it’s only fuelled her to continue her mission of showing what’s wrong with society four years down the line. Strangely, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Much of the EP is Distras imploring people to look after one another, to make the difference yourself rather than wait for someone else to lead with the title track declaring to “Be the solution” and ending with “No-one saves us, only ourselves”. Indeed, both this and “New World in Our Heart” have perfect marching rhythms, just in case any protest marches (or something more drastic) ever needed a musical backdrop.
Meanwhile, “Poor Man” has Distras updating “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live” as has been done in the past. And ninety years on, it’s still as relevant and whilst the economy may not be in a depression right now, it still questions how the 1% continue to grow their wealth and so many people scrape to just get by, if not reduced to worse conditions.
Closing song, “Solidarity” is indeed what Distras wants to preach. As she states it’s a human desire to want an idyllic life and people should be putting aside their differences and celebrating our similarities in order to improve our conditions.
Lyrically, Distras doesn’t hide behind metaphors and clever imagery, instead, she shoots from the hip, calling out injustices as she sees them and frankly, the music world needs more of it. She’s as fierce as ever and with her upcoming tour to aid awareness and raise funds for the Crisis Charity, she’s continuing to spread her message.
Street Revolution tour dates:
- 17th Jan – Cambridge, Portland Arms
- 18th Jan – Nottingham, The Bodega
- 23rd Jan – Leeds, Key Club
- 24th Jan – Newcastle, Cluny 2
- 25th Jan – Guildford, The Boileroom
- 26th Jan – Norwich, Waterfront Studio
- 27th Jan – Portsmouth, Edge of The Wedge
- 29th Jan – Leicester, Firebug
- 31st Jan – Bishops Stortford, The Half Moon
- 2nd Feb – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
Street Revolution is released on 11th January