The Levellers
Levelling The Land


4.5
superb

Review

by Pint of stella USER (13 Reviews)
December 10th, 2013 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A powerful declaration of music and passion with the power to move mountains.

The Levellers had come along way by the time they released their second album. Formed out of the Brighton squat scene in Southern England in 1988, the band had released their debut album Weapon Called The Word on the Musidisc label. The album had some achingly great tracks like ‘Carry Me’, ‘World Freakshow’ and ‘England My Home’ but on the whole the album was a little rough and some of the material had the smell of filler about it. They soon parted ways with Musidisc and swiftly signed to China Records.

The first album release for China was Levelling The Land, which has gone on to be one of if not the most seminal album of the band’s career. Much like their debut it is a melting pot of pulsating punk, furious alt rock and melodic folk.
It kicks off with the anthemic ‘One Way’ which has usually been sited as the band’s quintessential song with its rousing chorus and driving melody. It is a number that has probably never left the band’s live set along with ‘Riverflow’ which is hands down one of the best folk punk songs ever written. A driving aural assault of pounding toms and bass flowing in and out of the Jon Sevink’s piercing violin.

The element that stands out most in comparison to the previous album is the inclusion of Simon Friend on guitar, mandolin and vocals on a few tracks. He had replaced Alan Miles who had become disenchanted with the way wages were dispersed in the band. Friend’s musicianship is certainly accomplished and unlike Miles his parts make the tracks and album sound far more rounded. He also brought two of his own songs to album the folky ballad of ‘Boatman’ and the power chord driven ‘Battle Of The Beanfield’

Throughout the album the music flows from light hearted folk ditties such as ‘Far From Home’ and ‘The Road’ to more aggressive punk tunes like ‘The Game’ and ‘Liberty’. The band have always had a political bent to their lyrics and this is easily reflected ‘In Another Man’s Cause’ the subject matter reflecting on the folly of war and effect of those who lose loved ones in conflicts. To ‘Battle Of The Beanfield’ which deals with an incident of police brutality inflicted on a group of travellers who had come for a free festival around Stonehenge in 1985. Surprisingly this mixture of music all flows steadily and offers the listener a rollercoaster of a listen that leaves you wanting more.

Overall Levelling The Land is a solid and forceful album that delivers classic track after classic track. Unsurprisingly all of the songs are still in rotation of in the bands live set. Although the production may sound a little dated the material heartedly makes up for this. I would recommend this album and seeing the band live.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
4.4
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
zakalwe
December 10th 2013


18644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Madness. I downloaded their stuff yesterday for an early 90s crusty juggler revisit thinking how much this album needed a review. And now here it is in all it's glory. Fair play mate.

LittleStranger
December 10th 2013


481 Comments


JEREMY! (75% of the crowd turns around)

LittleStranger
December 10th 2013


481 Comments


Absolutely despite crusty behaviour, but this is an alright album I guess. My Manic's fandom tells me I should hate them though

zakalwe
December 10th 2013


18644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is incredibly underrated captain. Never had the support they deserved in the music press or with the trendies back in the day.



LittleStranger
December 10th 2013


481 Comments


They just look so filthy though

zakalwe
January 18th 2016


18644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Remember this one doof dude? :D

zakalwe
September 16th 2016


18644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best album of the 90s

zakalwe
September 17th 2016


18644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Patchwork pantaloons, hair in dreads, one of them toy juggling stick contraption things and hugs all round.

I'm a changing man.

zakalwe
September 19th 2016


18644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Daily didgeridoo animal rights bump.

Shemson
September 19th 2016


1238 Comments


Wow I haven't listened to this for a decade and a half. Me and my dad saw them at a festival at the height of their powers when I was about 10. Good times.

zakalwe
September 19th 2016


18644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool!!!



I absolutely loved this and weapon called the word back in the day. Anarchy.

Shemson
September 19th 2016


1238 Comments


Might have to dig this back out again. Had my first ever alcoholic beverage that day haha

zakalwe
September 24th 2016


18644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yep. The days when 10yr olds were swigging from bottles and no one gave a fuck apart from a disapproving mum who would be told to 'shut 'er trap' by a dad who would be hard as fuck but loving and actually spend every spare minute with his family and smash any cunts face in who said things like 'crust punk'



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