Boomkat Product Review:
Out of print for 34 years, this reissue of Nocturnal Emissions’ pivotal, politicised ‘Songs of Love and Revolution’ reveals the legendary band on the cusp of earlier, bleaker sounds and a ruddy form of electronic pop
Penned during a time when Thatcher was in power, the Miners were striking, and revolution was in the air, or so Nigel Ayers predicted, ‘Songs of Love and Revolution’ is the sound of pessimistic electro-punks girding their loins for what may come, but never really transpired as they imagined.
Instead Thatcher pacified the working classes by selling off Government owned housing stock and duly trampled on the miners, ripping away their livelihood. Today we have minors striking against the use of fossil fuel. What went around doesn’t necessarily come back around.
But the experience left Nocturnal Emissions with fuel for their fire. Applying hardware skill gleaned over the prior five years, they made music for rabble rousing that didn’t rely on the usual punk formulas, resulting massive tunes in the fast and frazzled gob of ‘No Sacrifice (In Love and Revolution)’ and the timeless, magisterial sashay of ’Never Give Up’ with its unmistakeable synth melody by Caroline K.
Nigel Ayers says: "The Miners’ Strike was on and there were riots down our street in Brixton. I was convinced there was going to be a revolution. But it would probably have been quite unpleasant. All these old punks and hippies preaching revolution, I don’t think we were really prepared to live with the consequences. If we actually had a revolution in this country, it would be like Iraq or something, or Syria. But we were having horrible times with Thatcher. All we could do in that sort of milieu was imagine what the alternative would be like."