The Tin Pot Operation Care About You

Francis Jones reviews new EP, Here, It's The Tin Pot Operation

As a rule bands with a social conscience are deeply unsexy. Think of Coldplay and, God forbid, Chumbawamba. Thankfully, Tin Pot Operation don’t go in for facile sermonising.

Latest release, the 6-track EP, Here, It’s The Tin Pot Operation, is a guttural punk-rock lambasting of social ills and injustice. From opener Rather You Than Me, the agenda is clear, The Tin Pot Operation are here to shame you out of your apathy.

Rambunctious and avowedly political, there is no doubting that this can make for uncomfortable listening. Here, It’s The Tin Pot Operation remains as thematically and lyrically uncompromising as the band’s debut album Manufacturing Dissent.

Musically, however, this latest release is a much more structured and coherent record. On songs such as 'Rather You Than Me' and 'United Nations', lyrical vitriol is tempered by astute use of melody and rhythm. The rhapsodic 'Million To One' with its scuzzy guitars reminds us that the band can be pleasingly rough-hewn when they want to be.

'Soul' is the weakest track here. A would be blast against dead-end drudgery, it misfires badly with the trite lyric doing little to alleviate some rather characterless riffery. Final track 'Less Than The World' reprieves the situation. The EP’s standout track, 'Less Than The World', is heartfelt and morally committed, utilising the sort of melodic hooks you simply cannot ignore.

Locally the contemporary music scene is awash with inward looking, narcissistic scenesters who seem content to ape the current NME crush. In acknowledging that they are from Northern Ireland and that for all its foibles and follies they care about this place and its people, The Tin Pot Operation will never be the poseurs favourite.

However, if they can maintain the levels of musical progression evidenced by this EP and avoid becoming polemical ranters, they will undoubtedly prove themselves to be a band of greater substance and staying power than their fleetingly hip contemporaries.