Just the Music
It's The Who punked-up a la The Sex Pistols with a little of The Rolling Stones on the side, so if you haven't heard these three precursors it will seem spunky and meaningful in its concept, and as I haven't had the time to listen and follow that carefully to the narrative, it sounds like a punk opus with interludes of softer instrumental and also quick-fire Pogue-esque outbursts. I could namecheck a litany of other influences, but the raucous whole doesn't countenance such nuances. More Perfect Union at 9+ minutes breaks the mold with a rousing folk anthem, followed by the 1.17 minutes of a silent Intermission - ok - then a sweet polyphony of Sun Salutation at 55 seconds, followed by another 9 minuter (S)HE SAID (S)HE SAID which returns to the punkrock core. I like these clusters of variation. A choric rendition of Auld Lang Syne has an abrupt knelling that stops the melody and adds some drama to the concluding pace of the storyline [that I will need to return to] which then segues into the punk-with-shredding-guitar of I'm Going Insane [Finish Him]. Seven Seconds is seven seconds of silence, again, and this seems a tad twee by this stage, and the 30 seconds of closer A Moral is mainly a single organ chord with a final brisk vocal inhalation that doesn't really satisfy either creatively or in the storytelling, unless I have missed the lyrical thrust. Which of course I have.
There are clearly depths to main-man Patrick Stickles both in terms of his own life experiences [classic but nonetheless genuine personal demons] and his and the band's creative energies that require further exploration. I'm simply presenting this as an aural snapshot. There is a detailed and informed review in the current edition of Uncut.