I'm writing this as I travel by train from The World's Most Beautiful Greyscale Town, Edinburgh, down to the cliche cesspool, European tourist dumping ground, salty "bag of crisps" city called London.
This four hour, forty minute rail journey might seem like a foolish method of transport from point A+ to Z, especially considering the fact we live in 2015, amidst The Marvellous Magnet Age — a decade renowned for budget airlines, time travel and pre-blind date abortion pills.
But, in addition to the obvious romanticism associated with tracing the famous Flying Scotsman southern route — the endless patchwork Royal-owned countryside on the right and the calm Nordic passage on the left — there's a logical argument defending the decision to be made as well.
For one, trains are rarely delayed or cancelled due to oversights at the Yemen Postal Service. It's also a refreshing change to not have to strip naked, walk backwards through an MRI machine and denounce your Satanic beliefs in order to board.
There's a clear financial benefit as well and it's great that you don't have to mortgage your cat in order to sample some of the world famous British cuisine that is offered. In fact, from the friendly Welsh wench at The Fat Controller Bar in carriage G you can still get change from a fiver for your staple warm pint of lager/salted nut pouch lunch diet.
And don't get me started on how great it is that you actually travel from city-to-city, rather than the usual city-to-airport-to-airport-to-connecting bus terminal -to-taxi waiting area-to-sweaty waiting room-to-hitch jokers line-to-city that is synonymous with air travel.
Yes, in short — trains are a fucking amazing method of transport. Planes crash into buildings, start wars and eat out your girlfriend while you're in hospital undergoing an emergency back operation. Trains are honest, reliable and when you need a pat on the back and a familiar full-body oil massage they're there, with a warm knitted sweater and a family-size tub of KY.
But alas (or maybe more appropriately given my current geographical location "a lass") the attention deficit, generation-Z cunt across the aisle from me will probably remain unconvinced, sitting there in his comfortable seat, arms folded, sulking because some old lady just accidentally bumped her tartan suitcase into his arm.
He's the same cunt that you could often find drunk on a Friday at the Hopetoun, dressed in his cheap intern suit, loudly complaining that the band playing don't have enough synths and/or haven't washed their black jeans since the Y2K years.
The most refreshing aspect of Loose Manifesto is that, for the first time in their ten plus year career, Peabody seem genuinely disinterested in attempting to win over these kinds of fucktards.
Loose Manifesto sounds relaxed, comfortable — like a pair of unwashed, beer-stained black jeans. It's one of those records that could have been recorded at any point in the past fifteen years — a tribute to the timeless nature of the band's consistent hard line of defiance — a style created in sweaty rehearsal spaces, perfected in dark, unkempt pubs and powered by the band's unique blend of reflection, intolerance and genuine punk attitude.
Loose Manifesto is the kind of record that will be mostly appreciated by those who have been part of the journey, witnessed as Peabody have taken their no bullshit simplicity and slowly worked their way towards perfecting their gritty, reflective tone. Because of this approach it's really just an album for the already converted. The true fans.
The tongue-in-cheek ballad and the album's lyrical standout, No New Riffs, highlights the bands awareness of this fact in the most unashamedly transparent manner. But it's also a theme that consistently pops up throughout the record, whether it be the unhinged drunk rollocking of Black Narcissus, the introspective Finest Death Tune Of 2010, Take It From Me, or the playfully addictive call-and-response punk anthem that closes the album It Don't Matter.
The only negative outcome of the band's approach this time around is that they seem to have obsessively focused on symmetry, with an almost formulaic album approach occasionally creeping in — not only counter-balancing the number of ballads with an equal amount of punk vibrancy, but also evenly splitting the subject matter between punishing self-analysis and a more direct judgmental perspective. But after four and a bit hours (no delays, obviously), and as the individual songs begin to permanently fix themselves onto my brain's loop tape, this initially distracting element becomes irrelevant.
Unplugging my headphones as we pull into the temporarily demolished Kings Cross station I'm overcome with an amazing sense of calmness. Maybe it's the smooth London smog creeping into my lungs or the ancestral sense of pride associated with the faultless method of transport. Or maybe, Peabody have crafted an album that sounds like they're finally completely comfortable in their own skin, all the while politely referencing their consistently brilliant decade of output. Buy this album and a one way ticket on the Flying Scotsman and let me know what you think.