Album Review: The Filaments – “Look To The Skies”
Blimey, now there’s a name from the past – Chelmsford’s Filaments were a band I saw a few times about 10-15 years ago at places like the Wasted Festival (as Rebellion was known back then) in Morecambe, when they were briefly being tipped as one of the bright future hopes for British punk. However, despite some good press and a couple of standout albums (2002’s Skull & Trombones and 2004’s What’s Next?) they would split before the noughties were out and seemed to have been consigned to a footnote in history.
You can’t keep a good band down though, and the group reformed around five years ago with Look To The Skies being their fourth album. It also appears that the events of the intervening decade or so since they disappeared off this reviewer’s radar have understandably made them even angrier than ever, as the furious 75 second diatribe of Fuck The Alt-Right which kicks this album off make clear.
It isn’t all 100mph punk ferocity though, although as Tread Carefully and Killing Machine show, The Filaments are pretty good at that. The likes of Rip-Off World and Living In The Crosshairs show a more ska-punk based sound creeping to the surface, and the likes of Underdogs (which definitely owes a tip of the hat to And Out Come The Wolves era Rancid) and the Specials-style Ask No Favours really show them spreading their wings to come up with a couple of thoughtful mid-paced odes to just how fucked up this country and has got in the last decade.
Look To The Skies is an angry howl against the way this country’s been sent to the dogs by eight years of Tory misrule, but crucially it does it with a surprising amount of variety and nous. Good stuff.
Proof that old punks can learn new tricks, this is a good effort from The Filaments and possibly their strongest to date. Drawing from their decade plus of experience to create an angry but thoughtful album that you'll be happy to cue up for a second listen straight away, the lads have done good here.