Album review: Bob Vylan – Humble As The Sun

Bob Vylan punch back with a grin on their faces on fearless third album, Humble As The Sun…

Album review: Bob Vylan – Humble As The Sun
Emma Wilkes

Bob Vylan exploded just when we needed them. After introducing themselves with the righteous rage of 2020 debut We Live Here, 2022’s …The Price Of Life was an incendiary soundtrack to the despair of living in cost-of-living-crisis Britain that established Messrs. Vylan and Vylan as one of music's most important new voices. How on earth do you follow that, then? Their answer is to look up to the sun. Just like that ball in the sky, their third album is big, bright and shit-hot.

Bob Vylan have always been an audacious band, but this time, they take that to new extremes and not just because they declare in the middle of the juddering early album highlight Reign that ‘Bob Vylan got robbed for the Mercury!’ (you know what? Fair). They’ve undertaken a huge evolution in both sound and scope, beginning with a curveball of a title-track that sees Bobby rapping over the sort of vintage, shimmering soul sounds they’d have had to dig out of a vault, but even though it sounds different it’s all Bob Vylan in spirit. Elsewhere, Right Here samples the similarly-titled Fatboy Slim song and twists it into a quick-witted, hulking banger – if that’s not a power move, what is?

It's obvious the band are out to showcase everything they’re capable of, and every so often, that includes some flashes of optimism. While the duo were never going to lower their fists, as the sardonic Hunger Games and artfully vicious Makes Me Violent attest, their sunnier side still shines forth. He’s A Man is both sharp-eyed and sharp-tongued and may well raise a few laughs (big hand for ‘The G spot don’t exist man, that’s just feminist propaganda!’) in its dissection of toxic masculinity, while the uplifting Dream Big is a rallying cry to aiming high and living proud that’s also the most positive they’ve ever sounded.

Indeed, their rebellious spirit is intertwined with a sense of total, inspiring self-love and in creating that feeling of empowerment, Humble As The Sun feels revolutionary in a fresh new way.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: FEVER 333, Rage Against The Machine, SNAYX

Humble As The Sun is released April 5 via Ghost Theatre

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?