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November 2019
Album Review

'A Picture of Good Health' is the album Hull punks LIFE deserve

It's when things get a bit weirder that the album really shines.
Label: Afghan Moon / [PIAS]
Released: 20th September 2019
Rating: ★★★★
'A Picture of Good Health' is the album Hull punks LIFE deserve
Published: 8:57 pm, September 19, 2019Words: Jake Hawkes.

LIFE's first album, 2017's wryly titled 'Popular Music', was a chaotic collection of bangers held together with spit and sawdust and recorded across multiple periods. As a result, it felt like more of a potted history of the band than a coherent statement of intent.

'A Picture of Good Health' is also chaotic and also feels like it might fall apart at the seams, but there's a steel thread running through it this time. It feels like a 'proper' album in the way that their debut didn't – recorded over four weeks and with its feet firmly planted in one direction, it's the album the Hull punks deserve.

Live favourites (or LIFE favourites, geddit?) like 'Excite Me' and 'Moral Fibre' are peppered throughout, and still guaranteed to make you want to throw a pint and leap around, but it's when things get a bit weirder that the album really shines.

'Never Love Again' slows takes things down a gear and is dripping in the kind of menace that'll have you nervously hiding behind the sofa. The aptly titled 'Thoughts' sees a stream of consciousness pour forth on everything from your dog ('it isn't even that cute') to becoming a hardcore drummer ('to tone my arms') to buying more books ('to get me laid')

The lyrics to 'Half Pint Fatherhood' are also a standout, as the recurring shout of 'I could really be a father' soundtracks lead singer Mez's thoughts on single fatherhood and homebuilding in a moment of frank honesty.

'A Picture of Good Health' is still a bit wonky, and some tracks feel like they'd do much better live than in the sterile confines of an album stream, but it still marks out LIFE as the most exciting act to come out of Hull since… well, ever, really.

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