Guildford band The Lunar Keys released their latest track ‘Life Is A Dirty War’ on Friday and added to a top tradition of gratitude. Like their last five singles, which came in support of good charitable causes, this new one comes with a pledge of a free show for the band’s fans as a thank you for the continuous support.
Admirable gestures aside, what of the track? Well, this one, recorded by Billy Foster at Snap Studios, and mastered by John Davis (The Killers, U2, Royal Blood) at Metropolis – plays on the expression of ‘All is fair in love and war’. There’s an undertone of inspiration and an uplifting idea of escaping a negative love. The Lunar Keys take the mature stance of acknowledging this bad relationship, how it can run in concurrence with life’s daily struggles but not surrendering.
Likening this experience to being in a war adds this visceral sense of battle, as well as understanding that - regardless of romance, the world doesn’t stop spinning. Lyrics reflect this tone:
“I won’t live like that no more. I’ve escaped from this before, you can’t break me to the core. Life is a dirty war.”
The band also laments at taking on a partner’s problems in an almost one-sided fashion. Likening this to drinking down problems perhaps hints at near-alcoholic tendencies – a true negative trait that we are urged to get out of.
“You pour me out your worries and your darkest doubts. I drink them up, fighting it again.”
‘Life Is A Dirty War’ is musically uplifting, taking on a delicate theme, but also surging and powerful. To me The Lunar Keys strike resemblances to Clean Cut Kid with tender harmonies and then Royal Blood with thudding beat powered pre-chorus and dark, twisting fuzz-riddled solos. Within this anthemic tune, there is a certain skill and guile – whether that be with backing vocals, gifted playing of respective instruments or even deep-rooted subtleties, like the ELO-like synth-vox chords.
Rightfully so, this powerful ballad has captured the attention of BBC Introducing and has already looked to cut the same shape as previous releases. Those previous songs have enjoyed dozens of reviews, more than 400,000 views and streams and impressively over 3,5000 plays from more than 400 radio stations. Of which, these have included BBC Wales, Amazing Radio and the previously mentioned BBC Introducing – where the band enjoyed Track of the Week status.
With an impressive mantra of ‘Release, tour, grow, release, tour, grow, repeat’ – the band are looking to constantly go from strength to strength. Time will tell if inevitably their high work rate gets rewarded.