18 Sep 2015

The Iain Duncan Smiths / Devils Tunes: The Very Worst of the IainDuncan Smiths (album review)

Sometimes classics just shouldn't be touched, is a view that maybe more than just a few people share. But as the frontman of Iain Duncan Smith themed Smiths tribute band The Iain Duncan Smiths cries "I'm so happy with my place in the cabinet, but heaven knows you're miserable now… in my life I spend my time making vulnerable people die" on third track Heaven Knows Your Miserabe Now it's plain to see that this band has definitely breathed a whole new life into 15 individual Smiths songs. I think maybe because the band repurpose the original classics with a similar left-wing angle to the one which The Smiths originally came from in the 1980's, albeit in a way that's much larger than life, this tribute band just feels so RIGHT.

The Iain Duncan Smiths' first album came out via soundcloud recently, and it's already what I'd describe as one of the great instances in which comedy and music have crossed over. The most of the songs on the album are reworking a of singles and well known classics, with a couple of odder album tracks, written from the perspective of Iain Duncan Smith - the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions - tackling a range of political and social issues that the Tory politician has (or would theoretically) face in the role that so many people have signed a petition to get him removed from. With song titles including Still Ill (No Sick Pay), Priti Patel Makes Graves and This Balanced Plan, it's obvious that this album is a wonderfully eloquent, politically astute comedy record. 

Throughout the album, lyrical gems like "you can't go out tonight because you haven't got a pound to spare" and "Girlfriend in a coma I know, I know, she's really fit for work" wittily mock both Duncan Smith's work and more widely the Tory government in a way that's really creative and really brilliant. During my first listen to this album I found myself grinning for the entire duration, and whilst it does lose its novelty quite quickly, I'm just generally glad it exists. Overall Devil's Tunes is as good as any comedy album could ever be, and like I say, although the novelty wears off, for 45 minutes it's just the best anti-Tory-scum satire in the business.