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The Ian Lowery Group | King Blank To 30th Anniversary Edition

Rediscover a lost legend with this reissue from the late Brit post-punk's catalogue.

WHO IS HE? The lost legend of music, according to his website. Though if you’re an aficionado of British indie artists from the end of the last century, you might remember him from post-punk and indie bands like Ski Patrol, Phantom White Limb, Folk Devils and King Blank.

WHAT IS THIS? An expanded reissue of an obscure, long-forgotten 1989 album from the late singer-songwriter and one of a seemingly endless series of backing units.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Better than expected — and more varied than you might think. Musically, Lowery covers the waterfront from wiry Johnny Thunders post-punk to bluesy ballads and rootsier fare reminiscent of Bad Seeds. Vocally, he sounds a lot like a young Graham Parker, but with a little less soul in the heart and a slightly bigger chip on his shoulder.

WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Back to Blank. Or Back in Blank, depending on which classic album you prefer.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While reading about him online.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Wiry, spiky, edgy, poetic, brash, dark, pointed, gritty, honest, raw.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Lean, muscular rockers like Need, A Kind of Loathing, You’re Gonna Pay and One Last Blast pack a solid punch. But blues and country cuts like Jack Dust and 13th Floor have their charms too.


HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Often enough that you might be tempted to seek out some of his other releases. At least, I am.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A MEAL, WHAT MEAL WOULD IT BE? A full English fry-up in all its greasy, unsophisticated glory.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Stealing from the dead is never a good idea. But streaming it seems like a fair compromise.

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