Status:Revolt – “A frustrated musician you’ve never heard of.” Perhaps.
But Dan Schofield is no stranger to music; especially the Leeds-based scene of the 00s. Having played in bands such as Sovereign and The Beat Marshals over the years – Status:Revolt sees Schofield in his final musical phase. One where he can be unapologetically himself, celebrating life and the very reasons he started playing in the first place. With this in mind, he released a S:R debut record late last year -comprising 11 tracks across 55 minutes – the curiously named ‘Thirteen Steps’.
Taking the best part of two years to complete (with some acceleration over lockdown) – the multi-instrumentalist ‘one-man-band’ self-recorded and mastered the album at home. And while it may technically be missing that professional polish of a recording studio – is this a setback? I really don’t think so. There’s a sincerity to this record – one that can perhaps only come with experience both musically and life-lived. A collection of eleven tracks covering the political, societal and profoundly personal.
Some numbers appear more instrumentally-driven than others – the opening title track itself a lyric-less piece. Setting the tone of the album with thumping percussion and atmospheric echoing chants before fading into the next track.
A definite earworm, ‘North Star’ feels pure Noel Gallagher from the strum-heavy guitars, the soaring vocals to the very catchy chorus. “You are my North Star / You are the one that guides me / Back to my world when there is nothing to stay for here”.
A celebration of someone in the artist’s life – friend, partner, child – who has served as a guiding light and grounding force in all the chaos.
The spiky spite-filled ‘Blame’ is another striking example of Schofield’s versatility. With an opening punchy beat, menacing guitars that steadily build, cleverly layered with keys and electro effects. The venomous vocals tell the tale of realising someone’s true character. “It’s a shame that everything was fake”
We’re transported to a night of excess in ‘Relapse’. Whether a gig or a night out – there’s a definite sense of over doing it and ‘drowning out the demons’. A surreal haze of distorted vocals and reverbed synths.
Other stand outs include ‘Before Everything Else’ with its sweet layered vocals, piano, and crooning guitar country sound. ‘In Pursuit Of Nothing’s scathing commentary on the daily grind, and the explicit laden closer ‘A Sick Tribute’. A track which truly says everything we’ve ever wanted to about the state of the world and those who ‘rule’ over it. “So fuck you pretender to the throne.”
A bevy of tracks that splice and blend genres – with elements of indie, folk, alt-rock, pop, country, and electronica all present. Nods to guitar-driven bands like Oasis, Feeder, and Mansun can be heard – it’s a tribute to Schofield’s varied musical inspirations and past endeavours. A mixed bag, but equally a sum of its parts from an authentic musician with a point to prove. ‘Thirteen Steps’ is a strong yet multifaceted record from Status:Revolt – and most importantly, it’s on his own terms.