Vigorous, scintillating and life-affirming, this 13-song album sees Brown reach a milestone birthday, as explored in 'Can You Kanreki?’ - the Japanese concept of second childhood and re-birth. Then there are the trademark political and social vignettes, such as the title song of the album 'Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty' – railing against mass consumerism and media control; the wistful 'dEBRA 2021' (a re-working of the bIG*fLAME classic 'Debra'); and the ascerbic 'It's A Wonderful Lie' – a scathing attack on the lack of openness, honesty and humility of our political leaders.
Brown featured on the legendary and influential C86 NME cassette as singer and bassist with Manchester agit-post-punk trio bIG*fLAME, and recorded nine John Peel sessions for BBC Radio One in the 1980’s with bIG*fLAME (4), The Great Leap Forward (2), A Witness (2) and Inca Babies (1).
Formed by Brown following the disbandment of bIG*fLAME in 1986, The Great Leap Forward is essentially a solo project in which Brown writes all songs and lyrics, and plays / programs all instruments on recordings.
The style and sound is more melodic and accessible than bIG*fLAME, but still with overtly political lyrics and a socialist / humanist ethos: incisive political and social commentary layered over sharp yet melodic guitar pop – and with a touch of electro and humour thrown in for good measure…
Stuart Maconie, writing for NME, summed up the band's sound: "First there's the jagged guitar melodics, sweet but never tacky. Then there's the ferocious rhythmic drive. But best of all there's the stylish and witty use of found voices...snatches and snippets of speech and propaganda that are integral to the songs."
Little wonder that as with McCarthy, The Great Leap Forward were loved by a young James Dean Bradfield.
Brown writes- “This album is the culmination of four year's writing, and it has a much more varied approach than previous releases. Whereas previously I've concentrated on a political approach, this album takes a wider view of the world. Of course I still provide the trademark political and social vignettes - how could I not - such as the title song of the album 'Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty' – named after a collection of works by the English writer Jack Common in which I rail against mass consumerism and media control; the wistful 'dEBRA 2021' (a re-working of the bIG*fLAME classic 'Debra'); and the ascerbic 'It's A Wonderful Lie' – with what I think is a scathing attack on the lack of openness, honesty and humility of our political leaders.
1) Songs To Die For
2) Things That Make Me Happy
3) Revolt Against An Age Of Plenty
4) Losing Faith In The Wall
5) Giving Back Is Good For You
6) DEBRA 2021
7) Words On Fire
8) Can You Kanreki?
9) A Life More Ordinary
10) It’s A Wonderful Life
11) My World Is Not My Own Anymore
12) When Our Kingdom Comes 1
13) Songs To Die To Reprise