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thegreatleapforward revoltagainstanageofplenty
Artist: The Great Leap Forward
Title: Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty
Genre: Alt-Pop
Release Date: 30th July 2021
Label: A Turntable Friends Records

Album Review

Describing yourself as a fan of THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD might require a modicum of additional explaining in certain circles. A policy of everyone’s favourite little book author, Mao Zedong, the Massive Step Backwards - as it possibly should have been called - was an attempt to create a communist economy from an agrarian one in late 1950s China. As a long-term musical project of former BIG FLAME member Alan Brown, the name has slightly less global connotations, although there are not so subtle links in the new album’s title ‘Revolt Against The Age Of Plenty’, and with songs such as ‘Giving Back is Good For You’. But fear not! This quirky romp through the more eccentric side of Alt-Pop / Rock has plenty of depth but none of the sinister implications of Mao’s “everyone is equal but some are more equal than others” quest for immortality.

From the off, it’s clear why James Dean Bradfield (MANIC STREET PREACHERS) is such a big fan. ‘Songs To Die For’ could easily be by the frontman, politically charged lyrics over a well-crafted, deceptively simple melody. And the title track wastes not a second before strumming furiously into a folk-rock manifesto that sounds neither preachy nor pretentious - you can shout at people all you want, but getting them to sing along seems far more effective. The songs here feel trimmed somehow, as though an excessive note or an overlong intro would be anathema - and this works wonderfully, as the album skips and hops about its business with a creative efficiency that’s refreshing - especially when considering Mr Brown has been doing this kind of thing in one guise or another since the 80s.

‘dEBRA 2021’ bounds about admirably, ‘A Life More Ordinary’ having the same unique Britishness once captured by the likes of THE ICICLE WORKS, or even THE KINKS. ‘My World Is Not My Own’ goes for the pop jugular, pumping its fist like THE MIGHTY WAH joining forces with THE TEARDROP EXPLODES without sounding at all dated. ‘When Our Kingdom Comes’ rounds things off with a nice slice of positivity, an almost jovial mocking of all that is wrong out there but how ultimately the good guy will win. It makes a refreshing change from the woe-is-me and we’re-all-doomed approach to political song-writing. If it doesn’t make you want to knit your way to freedom from oppression, as least it’ll encourage you to hug a tree. Nice.

This is a great album, understated, intelligently relaxed in style and delivery, but with sharp lyrics, wry and mature observations, and true skill with a melody. Sometimes it really is better to listen to your elders.


01. Songs To Die To
02. Things That Make Me Happy
03. Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty
04. Losing Faith In The Wall
05. Giving Back Is Good For You
06. dEBRA 2021
07. Words On Fire
08. Can You Kanreki
09. A Life More Ordinary
10. It’s A Wonderful Lie
11. My World Is Not My Own
12. When Our Kingdom Comes
13. Songs To Die To Reprise


Alan Brown

Website /

Cover Picture

thegreatleapforward revoltagainstanageofplenty


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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