Some of the best lyrics ever written-
I first felt a fist, and then a kick
I could now smell their breath
They smelt of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs
And too many right-wing meetings
Wellerean Poetry at his most urban ethereal (eh?). These lines always had a particular resonance for me as I would, in later life, get beaten up on the Tyne and Wear Metro by a bunch of tuffs. They Smelt of afterschool clubs, and public school and too many chess-club meetings.
This is Weller and boys sounding grown up (not only was he asking questions, but he was considering what the answers could be) and I think it is one of their strongest albums. Some of the standouts are Mr Clean, which is outstanding and the very angry ‘A’ Bomb, spit those words out Mr W. With David Watts The Jam show how to do a proper cover version, and own it. Every time I hear The Kinks version, I have The Jam’s version in my head.
Hidden gem: English Rose (this is where the punks stopped listening)
Micro review: Weller grows up, but gets angrier.