Words by MMT
It’s been about eighteen months since Mitchell released his ‘debut album proper’, “Tales From Albion”, and this EP sees his sound stripped back again to the one-voice-one-guitar dynamic we first knew him for.
But otherwise (on the surface at least) it’s business as usual: caustic left-wing agit-busker anthems stacked up against more apparently autobiographical lyrics – the mix of the Political and the Personal we’ve always enjoyed from his work. “Letter From David Cameron” could almost be the total blueprint for the archetypal Mitchell Taylor song, it’s a jaunty acoustic attack on our current PM. “Do you believe in the Welfare State? Well I’m sorry, I just sold that to my mate”.
Scratch a little deeper though and you’ll see he’s continuing to develop and evolve, which is great to hear. The Political songs show less of the generic anti-Right sentiment and a greater sense of the specifics: opener “War Is Business” references both Blackwater and Kony 2012, and encouraged me to go away and look them up so I'd know what they are too.
I think my favourite track is the titular “Blood Of St.George”, addressing the flawed logic of a pride in ‘Nationalism’ based on a total ignorance of actual history – a point I’ve often made myself myself about the B.N.P. We’re all “mongrel-blooded”, after all.
This EP also contains some of his best lyrics yet: I particularly enjoyed “when you’re young you get told to be the brightest star in the cosmos / more than fucking likely to be working the stock room in Argos”, from the sour “Wasted Youth/Life”. And “Dirty Love” finds his voice stretched further than I’ve heard it before, all the way up into a falsetto. So this IS the same, but it’s also different. Which is always one of the keys for me to digging an artist.
Having said that, the final track “Lord Leveson” is a total surprise – an unaccompanied performance poem which would fit in just fine at any poetry slam I’ve attended over the years.
Mitchell continues to go from strength to strength – and it’s clear that he’s broadened his horizons wider than Milton Keynes in the last couple of years. I think it’ll be interesting to see what his next few moves will be.