- David Bentley
Quantum Leap – All Systems Go (track from the album Alien Planet)
At first glance this appeared to be quite a coup. The press release asked us to “join Greta Thunberg, (Swedish/American labour activist) Joe Hill, Mahatma Gandhi, (Manchester suffragette) Emmeline Pankhurst and the band and listen to this track”. Unfortunately, three of them are dead so while they might be able to vote in the U.S. presidential election, they aren’t able actually to join us for a musical recording in this life.
But at least they are there in spirit and that’s what matters.
As with the previous song from Uppsala-based Quantum Leap that we reviewed (‘The Other Side’) back in October, this is a track from their recently released second album, ‘Alien Planet’, produced by Tomas Skogsberg.
It seems to an anthem of frustration directed towards the uncontrollable, in the same way, for example, as 4 Non Blondes’ ‘What’s up’ and specifically focused on “global crises never solved” (the fact that Greta is in the mix suggests that is a climate reference), while also embracing dictatorship, inequality, racism and pollution (it even starts with a cough); quite a broad campaign.
“I‘m waiting for some kind of reaction/I’m waiting for the world to explode/I’m waiting for a revolution/I’m waiting for the big show.” (Isn’t he a wrestler?)
In the previous review it was mentioned that they’ve attracted a huge range of comparisons, including Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, Kate Bush, Ultravox, Blondie, and Steppenwolf. You can hear Bowie in this one, for sure, think in particular of ‘Suffragette City’) but also Carter USM (‘The Life and Soul of the Party Dies’) Buzzcocks, and even Status Quo. Their influences may be universal but that’s academic. What matters is the end result and if you like your rock hard, explosive and bad-assed but with a woke vinaigrette, look no further.
At two minutes 24 seconds the song is even shorter than ‘The Other Side’ but it only goes to support the old maxim that less is more.