Ian Svenonius' fifteenth album sets its sights on modern culture
Chain & the Gang are not so much a band as a bullhorn for Ian Svenonius, their frontman and fulcrum. Svenonius is indie rock’s own version of the writer Jonathan Meades – outspoken but erudite, thoughtful and enlightened yet impishly irreverent – and he has a knack for tackling weighty ideas in an offhand manner that might give you cause to doubt his sincerity. At this stage though, 15 albums into his career, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. ‘Minimum Rock ’n’ Roll’ takes aim at our modern culture of instant gratification (‘Got To Have It Everyday’), oversharing (‘Mum’s The Word’) and Google-ads conformism (‘Stuck In a Box’), but for all its high-mindedness, it’s garage-rock primalism is just as easily enjoyed with your brain switched off. Perhaps that’s the point.