Straw Men – Laslow Simplex (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Arriving with perfect timing, this latest musical missive from Laslow Simplex, might seem like a simple song but its straightforward and fairly unsophisticated sonic lines, and I mean that in the nicest possible of ways, underplay the poignancy and potency of the message that it carries. Many people have made music of late ranting against certain incumbents and welders of power but Laslow Simplex understands that the people that we vote for are more a symptom of a bigger problem, not necessarily the problem itself.

As he sees it, it is the decline in political discourse, people’s inability to be able to counter rhetoric with factual argument, perhaps even a broader political and societal education which is at the root of the problem. When no-one really knows what it is they themselves believe in let alone what those seeking power stand for, not in their heart of hearts, then the Straw Men and Straw Women are able to take the reins of power.

There is a lovely lilting, raggle-taggle feeling to the song, a slightly 60’s vibe and perhaps tipping a hat to the likes of Country Joe McDonald, someone who never shied away from speaking truth to power. And sometimes it is the simplest approach which is the most effective and rather than create a song full of theatre and dramatic, Drang and Sturm, ornate riffs and complex rhetoric, he just tells it like it is. If only more people would do the same, but that’s the whole point isn’t it?

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