‘Smash The Clock’ by Bruce Foxton (Album)

3 June, 2016 in Music Reviews

Bruce Foxton

Bruce Foxton: the Jam legend returns

The former Jam bassist returns to the fray (and the charts) with a solo album that far, far outstrips expectations

Bruce Foxton Smash The ClockYou may well know about this album already… it went Top 40 in the UK last week. Only in the lower reaches of the chart, and only for a week, but still, for Foxton, it was the first taste of chart action in nearly a quarter of a century. And well deserved it was too, because if you don’t know about this album already, you need to!

In recent years, Foxton’s been in the slightly bizarre position of effectively being in his own tribute band: in 2007 he joined From The Jam, the band formed by ex-Jam drummer Rick Buckler, and has continued to tour with them since Buckler’s departure in 2009. Here, though, he teams up with From The Jam vocalist Russell Hastings to deliver an album’s worth of original material, helped out by a few music biz chums – Wilko Johnson, Paul Jones and, following a reconciliation last year, Paul Weller.

And it’s great! Given Hastings’ “day job”, and given that the man himself is involved, there’s unsurprisingly a distinctly Weller-esque feel to much of the album, most notably on the Stones-nodding Alright Now and the wah-wah laden Round And Round, either of which could have come straight off Stanley Road. What’s more surprising, perhaps, is that these songs really do stand up alongside any of the Modfather’s own solo work. Elsewhere, the album opens with the swinging brass of the Chairman Of The Board-ish Now The Time Has Come, then moves on through the Ogden’s-esque Pictures & Diamonds and… well, you get the idea. Back Street, Dead Street harks back to punkier times and There Are Times (To Make Happy) is the obligatory slow, finger-picked ballad.

We’re sure all Jam fans will be as delighted as we are to see Foxton back up in the top leagues where he belongs.

Verdict: A real Brucie bonus – the grown-up Mod-Fu is strong in this one

Russell Deeks

 

Below, you can see From The Jam performing Now The Time Has Come live at Bearded Theory festival last weekend. But more on that tomorrow…