Beans on Toast has been knocking around backrooms, bars, and festival stages for over a decade now. Each year on his birthday, he releases a new record and ‘The Inevitable Train Wreck’ is his eleventh and latest. You can follow the list of the artist from record to record. There’s bags of drugs at festivals and creeping on Myspace profiles on the first through to the righteous political anger on the latest.

The album opens with ‘World Gone Crazy’, a statement of fact and a throwback to the heady days of 1950s rock’n’roll. Beans on Toast narrows his world view a little on ‘England, I Love You’. Anger, confusion, apathy, patriotism, and disappointment abounds. Remember singing ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’ at sc school or church? Well, the intro’s the same although this time around an unelected Prime Minister’s got the whole country in his hands.

Like many in the modern world, Beans seems to be looking back to the so-called good old days. On ‘Extinction No. 6’, the theme is climate change, modernity, and an unwillingness to change. It starts with a doo-wop chorus and finger snaps before breaking into a punky riff that Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros would have been proud of.

Beans on Toast
Beans on Toast

‘The Inevitable Train Wreck’ chugs along at a steady pace. From the dangers of robots to the divisiveness of poverty, the end is clear, inevitable you might say. Like the prior ten records, there are plenty of singalong moments and catchy hooks. As with each new addition to the canon, there’s a slicker production and an increase in instrumentation. ‘Rich Vs Poor’ is almost a country song, ‘Logic Bomb’ dabbles with ska, and ‘Mountains’ is a tender soulful ballad.

And it’s not all political outrage on this train. ‘Lost Poetry Department’ sees Beans on Toast at his most personable with the tale of an actual train journey and the loss of his trusted guitar.

While the country heads for ‘The Inevitable Train Wreck’, Beans on Toast continues to captain his ship. We’re on board with the punks, the poets, the pub-goers, the political activists, and pretty much anyone you’ve met at a great festival. Setting sail into 2020, this is a record to listen to, learn from, and live by.