Pop: This Week's Album Releases - Gene Revelations (Polydor)

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The Independent Culture
ON GENE'S fourth album, the self-pitying swoons no longer dominate, as they did when the band trod too reverently in The Smiths' footsteps. Instead, Martin Rossiter and co have discovered political commitment, just as the New Labour administration appear to have lost theirs.

With sentiments such as "The greedy live off you and me/ This is the code, we can't break history" and "Strike first, the rich must be deprived", Revelations is probably the most overtly Marxist album released in the past four or five years - though the music is, sadly, rather less revolutionary, sticking firmly to the band's narrow indie purview. Still, tracks such as "As Good as it Gets" and "Mayday" accurately evoke the sullen disillusion of a land betrayed "when red became blue".

Gene's is a more positive move than most of their peers have managed in the face of indie decline, though the new "hard man" Rossiter, as evidenced on the last tracks ("The Police will Never find You" and "You'll Never Walk Again"), is less convincing. All that nonsense about Stanley knives just sounds so Morrissey, to be honest.