Monday, August 24, 2009

CD Odyssey Disc 23: Spirit of The West

Disc 23 is...Labour Day
Artist: Spirit of the West

Year of Release: 1988

How I Came To Know It: I got into Spirit of the West at University. Labour Day was the first album of their's I heard. They were a big campus protest act in the day.

How It Stacks Up: I have the three SOTW albums worth having (the first three). I think Labour Day is probably the best, although they are all good in their own way.

Rating: 3 stars.

I really like Spirit of the West (SOTW) whether I am sharing their opinion or opposing it. They are good either way.

I have fond memories of this album, hanging out at Felicita's and drinking cheap draft beer, debating how to make the world a better place.

It is a strong album with some kick-ass penny whistle (yeah, you read that right, tough guy). The songs are all catchy and the musicianship is strong. The lyrics are a little bit "beat you over the head with the obvious" but remember - this is protest folk/rock, and that is how it is supposed to sound.

"Labour Day" is by far SOTW angriest protest album. They pick a fight with Margaret Thatcher, sing about rundown inner city neighbourhoods, complain about Expo '86 and generally champion the cause of the downtrodden.

Whatever you may think about their topics, or their particular opinions, the bottom line is, they make their points well, and the songs are catchy. Good art should help you see a point of view well - it doesn't matter if you share all, some or none of it. Labour Day succeeds at this.

In particular, I really like the song "Political". It reminds me of how rotten it feels to be judged based on your politics instead of who you are. Next time you meet someone and you don't like their politics, ask them what they like in music - maybe you'll find you share something with them after all.

Best tracks: Political, The Hounds that Wait Outside Your Door, Gottingen Street, Darkhouse

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