Commercial Communism: Thee Faction – Up the Workers album review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO said art and commerce don’t mix? What about communism and the music business?

These questions don’t seem to bother Thee Faction, a half-theoretical, half-theatrical rock n’ roll outfit from Surrey who pedal socialist propaganda through the medium of rock n’ roll.

Bizarre? This is just the beginning. Inspired by the miners’ strikes, they formed in the eighties before (allegedly) disappearing in an anti-capitalist haze behind the Iron Curtain, without ever releasing a single record (read: product).

But with a Tory government butchering the NHS and slashing benefits their sudden return (sorry, “fightback”) couldn’t be better timed. Commercially at least.

Or, as their press pack says, “Socialism is served via the medium of Rn’B as theUKawakens to the lie of Capitalism.” Indeed.

Thee Faction’s first studio album proper (a live album from their eighties heyday, At Ebbw Vale, hit the capitalist pig’s store shelves last year), Up The Workers is a riot; singalong choruses celebrating Marx and Engels over blasting garage-blues grooves and dumbed-down Chuck Berry riffs.

In truth it’s all a bit surreal – if they really mean what they say, then by any rights they’re audience should be restricted to fellow die-hard commies. More likely, they’ll find a viable niche with ironic middle class students who half-belief and half-berate their political principles.

The conceptual tautology is stretched to breaking by an anti-piracy plea on the records sleeve claiming “while we don’t believe in property, we ask you to respect the value of our art.”

How very utopian, Marx would be proud.

3 thoughts on “Commercial Communism: Thee Faction – Up the Workers album review

  1. I checked this out, this is very good album, amusing, entertaining and politically sound: that’s not an anti piracy statement I don’t think, I think they’re saying “we ripped off all the songs but don’t recognise the capitalist courts, come and get us, Macartney”

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