FANTASTIC HEADS HELD HIGH

‘Heads Held High’ – the fantastic new album from The Past Tense For me, this quite simply is the contemporary album of the year so far – and this is why:

­ In the great traditions of The Jam, this album starts with a corker of a song, ‘Top Of The World’, that could easily be a single in its own right. A wonderfully crafted pile­driver of a song that teases you waiting for the chorus you know is going to come, and then introduces a great organ sound in the middle sequence. Awesome.

Next up is ‘Throwing It All Away’ which could have been an out­take from a session by The Chords – it’s that good. The pace continues with title track, ‘Heads Held High’, as the album just gets better and better.

‘Vision (From Another World)’ comes next and is a big favourite of mine. Imagine the Inspiral Carpets playing the Purple Hearts’ version of ‘Gloria’ at the same time as ‘Do Anything Just To Please You’ and you get the idea of this magnificent organ driven sonic soundscape.

‘Won’t Miss Next Time’ starts acoustically before cranking up the sound and ‘Crying’ is incredibly catchy and I am sure would get airtime on the radio. We are then treated to ‘No Apologies’ that has the feel of The Moment, which is a great trait indeed, before ‘Remember The Days’ has us reminiscing whilst singing along to this super tune.

Classic Alert! ‘Another Putney Sunrise’ is The Past Tense’s Ray Davies moment – this needs to be released as a single and, with the right support, would easily go Top 5. I cannot emphasise enough what a truly great song, recording, performance this is – worth the entry money alone.

‘Just Keep Believing’ visits The Truth’s territory, ‘Music Is Our Key’ demonstrates the passion of this band for their craft, whilst ‘What’s Coming Next’ takes us back to the early days of The Truth again before we enjoy the outro of ‘Putney Reprise’.

The vocals on this album are saturated with passion, honesty and integrity in a similar way to Andy Houghton’s with Yeh­Yeh, the guitar work is beautiful – I hear something new every time I play the album, and the rhythm section is tighter than an accountant on downers. The bass lines are almost lead lines in the same way as Foxtons’ melodic playing, and the drums move from power to delicate intricacies when needed.

And that is why I rate this album so highly. As with all truly great albums, the more  you play it, the more the songs take on their own personalities and the more things become apparent to the ear. To paraphrase: “Another great Past Tense album – and I’m feeling good…ooh feeling good”. And if you want to feel good too, visit The Past Tense on FB and get yourself a copy: