wed 19/06/2024

Album: A Certain Ratio - It All Comes Down to This | reviews, news & interviews

Album: A Certain Ratio - It All Comes Down to This

Album: A Certain Ratio - It All Comes Down to This

Veteran Mancunians undergo a further re-assessment and reinvention

ACR: maturing like fine wine

After a long period of relative inactivity, the last five years has had A Certain Ratio getting the bit between their teeth, trying out new sounds and releasing new tunes at a rate not seen since the early 1980s. It All Comes Down to This is their third album since 2020, as well as the four stand-alone EPs.

Despite coming out almost exactly a year since its 1982 predecessor, this set would actually have been released six months ago if bass guitarist Jez Kerr hadn’t broken his pelvis and fractured a hip just as recording was meant to begin. So, it seems that precious little slows them down these days.

It All Comes Down to This has ACR stripping the band back to their core trio of Jaz Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson, after temporarily bringing Ellen Beth Abdi and MC Chunky on board for last year’s 1982. It also sees the veteran Northerners going back to basics and drawing from the same well as a fair few of their Mancunian contemporaries for their indie rock flavoured funk – as well as bringing in a smattering of Big Audio Dynamite’s mid-Eighties sound on penultimate track, “Where You Coming From”.

“We All Need”, with its’ spoken vocals, hip-swinging groove and phat horns, brings to mind ex-Magazine man Barry Adamson’s solo cool. While “Out from Under” has a New Order-like vibe and “Keep It Real” has a distinctly bagging groove to it. In fact, for a group of old geezers who must be getting ready to claim their free bus passes, ACR are keeping things pretty lively with plenty of tasty tunes and given that It All Comes Down to This is their thirteenth studio album together, it suggests that, like fine wine, they might just be getting better with time.

This set would have been released six months ago if Jez Kerr hadn’t broken his pelvis and fractured a hip

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