Nizlopi - Make It Happen

Matthew Briggs 03/03/2008

Rating: 2.5/5

It seems like only two minutes ago a little known folk band from Warwickshire called Nizlopi came within a whisker of getting the Christmas Number 1 with a song about a JCB. Unsurprisingly, they were beaten at the death by one of Simon Cowell's plastic pop creations. As quickly as they came to publics attention they faded again and their next single only just managed to scrape into the top 100. After coming back down to an Earth with a bump they've dusted themselves off and came back with their new LP 'Make It Happen'.

'Start Beginning' is the first single off the album and it's toe-tappingly catchy. An acoustic ode to a loved one which builds to a Gospel choir backed crescendo, it has a very Summery feel about it. It's the perfect candidate for a more widespread release, a brilliant documentation of everything that's good about Nizlopi, musically sound and lyrically tight.

'I'm Alive Again' seems to be a very poor attempted at being politically aware by the Leamington Spa duo. Vocalist Luke Concannon takes great pleasure in telling us that “the world's more fucked up that it was in his day” and it's “way cool if you're gay”. It's nothing that hasn't been said before by everyone else under the sun, which makes the message seem more of a parody than a serious observation. It certainly doesn't help that it's delivered in a middle Englander drawl.

They carry on in this vein of political awareness with 'Feel Inside', thankfully they do manage to salvage some respectably with the frankness and down right unsubtly of their lyrics. Saying that, it does seem to lack the oomph needed to make it sound sincere coming from a band as middle of the road as Nizlopi. If anything it does just hit home that it's no longer difficult to put out a brilliant politically astute record.

'England Up Rise' falls back into the same trap as 'I'm Alive Again'. It could've been a brilliant tune but it almost sounds tongue in cheek. The sentiment is there but Billy Bragg it is not. There's something about Concannon's rapping of his liberal politics which make this seem contrived and far too right on.

I'm bemused as to who buys Nizlopi records. They don't seem to conform to specific genre which is something you've got to admire them for. They're an interesting package which sometimes works wonderfully and other times it doesn't, both sides of which are documented on this record. Will they ever get back to the heights they scaled a few Christmas's back? Probably not, but in a world of throw away, TV pop stars the singles chart no longer holds the publics imagination. As long as they're playing to their fans I get the feeling Nizlopi will be quite happy.

Release date 31st March.