Album Review Italia 90 - Living Human Treasure

Energetic, furious and deeply lamentful.

Italia 90 - Living Human Treasure

From the South East English accents, to the Wire-Public Image Ltd sonic sensibility, right down to the Swell Maps-ian stage names (Les Miserable, Unusual Prices, J Dangerous, Bobby Portrait), Italia 90 are about as old-school as it’s possible to get. Almost everything about the Brighton-via-London quartet’s debut album feeds off retro. There’s the keening, Johnny Rotten drawls of ‘Competition’, the viscous guitar fuzz of Wire’s ‘Chairs Missing’ to opener ‘Cut’; the chorus-bass propulsion of ‘Funny Bones’ is itself a pallid slice of OG goth. While the black midi jitteriness of ‘Golgotha’, or the gloomy pianos of ‘Mumsnet Mambo’ remind us this is the 2020s still, the most striking aspect of ‘Living Human Treasure’ is its polemical lyrical postures. Hocking left-wing ideology on its sleeve, lyrics like “liberation comes from state,” or “It’s my job to come down on Middle England and speak for you” pull no punches. Energetic, furious and deeply lamentful, perhaps the main achievement here is how Italia 90 so forwardly address a near fifty-year old cultural heritage which so many depend on yet take for granted. It’s noteworthy too how, in doing so, they confront some of the bleakness of post-Brexit Britain more directly than most.


Tags: Italia 90, Album Reviews

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