Beans on Toast's new album, The Inevitable Train Wreck, is something different for the cult songwriter - an upbeat, old-school rock 'n' roll record about the worryingly bleak future of the human race, recorded solely on vintage, analogue equipment by Kitty and Lewis Durham.
Taking inspiration from musical icons such as Chuck Berry and Otis Redding, as well as modern thinkers like Noah Yuval Harari and Greta Thunberg, the album is a collaborative project between Beans and Lewis & Kitty Durham from the much-loved family band, Kitty, Daisy and Lewis.
Beans wrote the collection of songs and brought them to Lewis and Kitty, who then rewrote the music behind the lyrics and produced the record in their studio, Durham Sound Studios, changing the sound from acoustic folk to the wonderful piece of work we present to you today.
The intention of the project is probably best illustrated by the opening number, 'World Gone Crazy', a fast paced, classic rock 'n' roll tune with lyrics that claim On the brink of extinction in the age of anxiety everywhere you look is another catastrophe. Not one computer was used in the recording, mixing or mastering of the album, which is oddly fitting for Saying Thank You to Robots; a ska-tinged song about the rise of artificial intelligence.
Elsewhere on the album, you'll find a blues number about the wars of the future, Rich vs Poor, and a Kinks style jam, Extinction No.6, about the worries faced by new parents leaving a wrecked planet for their children.
The album has an overarching theme, but it's by no means a concept album; it's simply a case of what's been on Beans on Toast's mind this year. There's even a song about the day he lost Martin his faithful guitar and, of course, a love song about his muse and wife, Lizzy Bee.
The album closer, On & On, takes us back to a more familiar Beans sound - he's back on the acoustic guitar and back searching for hope with an optimistic smile.
Yes, these are troubled times we live in, so it's more important now than ever to celebrate what we already know to be good.
Life is ridiculous, it is hilarious, it can be dangerous and sometimes even tedious. But it's resilient and it is beautiful and I believe in it. Long may it continue.
1.World Gone Crazy
2.England, I Love You
4.Saying Thank You to Robots
5.Rich vs Poor
8.Lost Poetry Department
9.Take Your Shit Home with You
10.Truth Be Told
11.On & On