Late night walks home discussing philosophical nothingness, teenage nights out reliant on “getting that one mate with the bumfluff tache to chance his arm in the offy” and waking up on sofas surrounded by cans of Red Stripe and stale takeaways – Real Life speaks the truth to many twenty-somethings in cities up and down the country who are living in ‘the decade with no name’.‘You are the straight-through crew, not the time out crowd / I love my friends more dearly than I’m allowed to say aloud’ is repeated in dance opener ‘Blackmarket Blues’, confessing the importance of those friends that manage to stick around for the long term. Admittedly the last song written for the album, it channels the rhetoric of midnight in the city, much like The Streets ‘Original Pirate Material’ of 2002 did. Yet, the clubs of those days are now closing and people are finding new ways to party.
The poetic crescendo that is ‘North Circular’ talks of those evening/morning journeys staring out of the window whilst ‘the same rain melts the same lights’. 90’s house vibe ‘World Peace’ contains speedy-synths that lead to one of the best choruses of the album. ‘Gospel’ has to be a highlight, with a light club-beat underlying a rolling prose, supposedly about “…being part of a generation of sad, young men who can only express their emotions by retweeting Harold Pinter quotes”.
Real Lies have managed to create an album that is simultaneously nostalgic and modern. An album for the post-university city dwellers. The ones sharing miniscule flats, travelling to jobs they hate in the early morning light and going for late night pints to discuss the relics of their youth – yearning for lost time.