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acr all comes down cover.jpg

just keep on movin'

just keep on movin'

just keep on movin'

just keep on movin'

A_Certain_Ratio_It_All_Comes_Down_to_This_album_artwork

a certain ratio

is

martin moscrop

jez kerr

donald johnson

it all comes down to this

.

number 11 acr loco

number 12 1982

number 13 it all comes down to this

outside the mainstream

inside the left field

there is so much music that comes our way these days.

so much music that bypasses the patriarchal safety net straitjacket of genre.

so much good music.

so much good music from a new generation that is less inhibited by that straitjacket, less gripped by nostalgia.

 

so much good music that, paradoxically, it's easy to become indifferent at a new release.

not so when

 

it's an acr release.

the opposite.

when a new acr record is announced, i still get that heartbeat flutter that I got as a teenager when I got wind of a new adam and the ants single.

that's where life begins. 

ratio are that heartbeat flutter.

as uninhibited as that newer generation.

chameleon-like.

restless.

open minded.

masters of the irresistible groove.

no straitjackets here.

 

we need the gravitas of a left field ratio now more than ever.

Distressed Texture
Distressed Texture

i don't like to compare earlier records-

different ratio-

different energy-

different time in their lives-

not dependent on their past-

this is ratio now-

an opening no-nonsense drum roll from Don that signals they mean business-

a propulsive, four-time-with-a-funky-twist drum groove-

a fluid bass line that wrestles, swings and hypnotises-

unites with the stabbing slither of Martin's guitar-

a nice 'n' sleazy synth swirl-

Jez's cool, unflappable vocals.

 

welcome to the title track.

a fresh, choppy, addictive, post-punk classic.

unpredictability- the genius of ratio.  

the grooves keep coming....

acr all comes down to this

keep it real - another underground club classic that keeps the indie guitar kids and the dance groove soundclashers happy

we all need - the big city night streets beckon us with a shadowy groove, tension built by narrative and ghostly, alien synths whilst guitar licks tread a taut tightrope between safety and impropriety

surfer ticket - a pernicious, paranoid staccato drum and bass rhythm with acres of space, a surfer solo that descends into controlled feedback. The unease pervades our very being. This is a classic.

bitten by a lizard - a Cold War synth watches with a ghostly stare over the delicious, mesmeric beat and the jabbing “Boy is bitten by a Lizard/Now her head is getting bigger”

estate kings - Don's spoken word world of sports makes Dickie Davies king, it's interspersed with a McGeoch-esque lick, eerie, film noir trumpet á la Chinatown and languid beat.

this is a more introspective, pensive, pissed-off ratio

there's a darkness to the sonic aesthetic and the lyrics

there's a tension, a latent anger that's palpable

a brooding, dystopian vibe....

Dan Carey's production is terrific. I sometimes (often) struggle to articulate what I think of production qualities, so can I say that it's gloriously free of clutter which allows the purity of the musicianship and songwriting to thrive ? A masterstroke.

 

it feels as close to a live studio set as I could hope for. The majority of the album was recorded in twelve hours. consequently, this is music that isn't just made by humans, it's brim full of humanity and authenticity. It's a band exploring the rawness of their despair of what's going on in the world....throwback to 1979 and the political turmoil of that time....then fast forward to now. What's changed? Same shit, but far worse.

special shout out to jez for having the courage and will to get through his own life-threatening challenges, we love you mate.

 

the ratio evolution continues and guess what....?

 

...it all comes down to this

now, did someone mention a 14th album.......?

Resources

info-

It All Comes Down to This is out on Mute on vinyl, CD, and digitally on 19 April 2024:https://mute.ffm.to/acr-iacdtt

 

It All Comes Down to This (CAT # STUMM492)

All Comes Down to This
Keep It Real

We All Need

Surfer Ticket

Bitten by a Lizard

God Knows

Out From Under

Estate Kings

Where You Coming From

Dorothy Says

all original photos courtesy of DEBBIE ELLIS

links-

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