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Tom Minor - The Bad Life (Overreaction Records)

3 July 2024

If Iggy Pop had not been born on the fringes of Detroit and grown up against a backdrop of 1960s unrest and rioting but instead was the product of Islington, London, in the 21st century, then he and Tom Minor could quite feasibly have been one and the same person. Similarly, looking to make musical mischief and live the high life in low places, “The Bad Life” is an anthem to hedonism wherever it may be found.

Not only is it a song built on the same proto-punk buoyancy, the same blend of angst and energy as The Godfather of Punk would harness in his mid-seventies solo career, but it is awash with pun and fun, wit and wisdom. In turn, it references Lord Byron, Freudian principles, Roman plebian appeasement techniques, and philosophical problem-solving theories, but of course, it turns them into clever wordplay to help narrate its own dark story.

It’s a cool song, one that advocates living dangerously but does so in a fairly polite way. Not for Tom Minor, the brashness and bravado of the rapper’s language. This is about as calm and considered wordsmithing as you can get, and that, ironically, makes the whole thing even more dark and menacing.

It is, after all, the quiet ones that you must keep an eye on.