When 2008 brought the debut album by the cheekily named The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Britpop icons Blur had yet still to reform (that would come the following year). But TGTB&TQ found Damon Albarn once again concocting unimaginable magic, teaming with Paul Simonon of The Clash, former Verve guitarist Simon Tong and legendary drummer Tony Allen on an album of visceral, contemporary English folk-punk.
Damon has since kept quite busy with Blur and Gorillaz; so the reemergence of TGTB&TQ comes as a bit of a surprise, certainly. Their “heady” new track “Gun to the Head” not so shockingly plays with enigmatic metaphors to weave a tale of animal appreciation, soft narcotics and local political intrigues. We think, anyway.
Indeed, the lyric goes, “At the point where the sky and the earth touch / Is the head of the Unicorn / Nailed to the wheel in the middle of the town / Is the nightingale alone” – which means you’re free to interpret as you will, possibly depending on your recent alcohol intake.
Musically, it’s quite possible they have just invented “vaudeville-prog,” as it comes off like early ’70s Peter Gabriel era Genesis filtered through 18th Century French theater. It’s taken from their upcoming “concept” album Merrie Land (due November 16) – a thoughtful rumination on Brexit England.
No U.S. live dates have yet been announced. But we vigorously recommend hopping the pond to catch one of their eight November-December UK shows, including three in London.