Released : Febuary 28, 2009
Genre : Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
Label : Occultation Recordings
Producer : The Wild Swans, Henry Priestman
'English Electric Lightning' is magnificent, a soaring and hymnal six minutes of chiming guitars and surging keyboards, which finally lives up to all the potential alluded at all those years ago with 'Revolutionary Spirit'. It carries a similar sense of harmony and melody to 'Revolutionary Spirit', but, as well as being much better recorded, where it surpasses that first record is in Simpson's urgent half hopeful, half despairing call-to-arms lyrics, which far less abstract than much of what he has written previously, throws together Johnny Rotten, Geoffrey Chaucer, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher and John Milton and examines everything that he sees as both being right and wrong about Britain.
The seven and half minute B side, 'The Coldest Winter in a a Hundred Years', is equally strong, a spoken word, comical monologue extracted from Simpson's forthcoming memoirs and, which set against a backdrop of scaling guitars and shimmering keyboards, tells of the first years of the Wild Swans and his own history sharing a flat in Liverpool with Bunnymen drummer, the late Pete de Freitas.
A brave and ambitous single from this most unfortunate of groups who three decades on have at last matched up to all their early enormous possibility.
1. English Electric Lightning
2. The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years