Red Rum Club’s ‘The Hallow of Humdrum’ is a resounding portrait of contemporary culture, through its critiques of the imposed implications of the monolithic mass media and, thereby, media’s affects on relationships.
Through its very medium as an album a deconstructive dimension is demonstrated, which is recognised in the lyrics, giving an ironic but comforting feel. Album opener, ‘The Elevation’, provides a thesis statement which umbrellas all the themes present from start to finish. Certainly, the opener achieves its title through its danceability and light-heartedness, as if its an invitation to a party that everyone is welcome to.
Following are the songs ‘Kids Addicted’ and ‘Vivo’; with punkish lyrics, they describe a spectral existence becoming increasingly homogenised by digitalisation. The repercussions of this on relations is explored on ‘Ballerino’ and ‘Favourite Record’. Both tracks compliment one another with their opposite moods but similar message of the transcendental quality of music. This is expressed with the desire to dance or by religiously listening to a certain album.
Across the second half of then album, similar themes are explored. The narrator of ‘Brando’ compares themselves and their romantic interest to cinema stars and iconic couples, but the song achieves a cynical take through its sound, bordering the song on iconoclastic levels.
Spiritual backing vocals and hypnotic polyrhythms on ‘Eleanor’ create a hearty listen where, without the singers Eleanor, “The world becomes a miserable place to be”. ‘Dorado’, ‘Girl Is A Gun’ and ‘Holy Horses’ swagger with bravado as the sextet stand confidently against the gruelling Combine, with a rootin’ tootin’, gung-ho attitude. Just under half an hour long, this album packs a punch.
The conscious choice for conventional instrumentation, grounds Red Rum Club in an earthly quality. By not strictly being revolutionary, the music stands alongside the historical tradition of rootsy music, against the dominant ideologies that wish to censor and control.