Beans is Back!
Beans on Toast, the three chord wonder, from Braintree in the UK, has been a staple part of my music diet for the last year or so, and despite having a 50 track debut album (yes, you heard me) to listen to time and time again, I couldn’t wait when I heard that he was releasing a new album.
Writing on the Wall sees Beans, or Jay McAllister, backed by a full band this time, rather than just him and his kids guitar! The brief, 30 minute long album was released on his 30th birthday – I’m sure you can see the link there… And it’s fantastic! Whilst Standing on a Chair, Jay’s debut album, was fantastic in the sense that it was full of very memorable, contraversial tracks that made you really think about life, it didn’t feel like much of an album, more a bunch of songs to be sung in bars or busked on the streets of London.
Writing on the Wall does not see Beans cutting out any of his down-to-earth and sometimes cringingly blunt opinions of the world around him, yet the songs, backed with all manner of instruments, from fiddles and violins to banjos, harmonicas and drums seem to have much more power behind them, and the songs sound so much more refined. He still songs that many may find offensive, such as Methadrone, which begins with ‘Well this is a song about glamourising drugs, I advise you to stick some powder up your nose,’ yet you do not get the impression that he is saying this just to be offensive, as he later on states that the money gained from the tax could be used to build new hospitals! However this is what makes Beans on Toast so unique – his ability to speak his mind without any care of what people might think. The album also sees Beans’ raspy voice warning the world about the international oil crisis as well as the decline of the music industry. All of this makes for an enthralling, albeit brief, listen. Highlights for me include – artmoneyart, Foolish, Wild and Forgetful and Old Grunge, which you can see a live performance of below: