The Carbon Town Cryer, 'The Carbon Town Cryer's Tidal Suite'

IssueSeptember 2010
Review by Maya Evans

The protest album of 2010 is here!

The Carbon Town Cryer makes an inimitable offering with Tidal Suite. It is both very well done and full of sincere passion fuelled by the pressing climate change issues of today. This piece of work is testament that the Carbon Town Cryer is not only a very committed activist but also a very talented musician who plays most of the instruments on the album in an accomplished and interesting way.

It wasn’t at all what I was expecting from someone I last saw at a BP AGM serenading the board of directors and then tucking into the complimentary buffet.

The album starts off with the song “Drax” which was inspired by the 2006 Climate Camp. I was immediately impressed with the track which opens with vocal and body percussion set to an intricate rhythm structure. The song is a rallying cry of encouragement to the movement as “the [Drax] facts are getting harder to disguise”. It is both a compelling introduction and an exemplar of the Cryer’s talent as the listener is greeted with vocal tones which possess the richness of Springsteen with the insight of Dylan.

This is one of my favourite tracks on the album as it is both catchy and stylishly executed. Another highlight on the album is “Orchard or Runway”, an anthem based on Heathrow’s third runway and the 2007 Climate Camp. The song rivals the positive energy and the detailed yet imaginative quality of Seize the Day.

Another of my favourites is “Celebrate This!” With shades of Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue”, the song is a kind of break-up ballad between BP and fossil fuels. Overall, the album is an eclectic blend of styles which includes a punk edge with “Patio Inferno” and two unorthodox poetry interludes.

Although varied in styles, the album does hang together as a complete piece as the Cryer’s style in itself is definitive enough to carry a consistent thread throughout the whole work. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone with a taste for good protest music. It’s a classic!

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