Alongside the perhaps anticipated touchstones of pop music excellence – the Stones, Krautrock, Madchester, the rhythmic lyricism of Kendrick Lamar and Courtney Barnett, psychedelia – Akiva are also happy to acknowledge the impact of cultural references less readily associated with rock’n’roll, namely UK current affairs programmes Newsnight and Question Time, and the trusty BBC Radio 4.
Their new single M.O.D. is a triumphant taste of the heavyweight synth-based electro that marks Akiva’s live sets, ‘M.O.D’ melds a strident musical backing to a fierce polemic on war, all brutal groove, pulsing analogue, fierce guitar licks and anthemic vocal. It is a song written about past events – namely the juxtaposition of the Ministry of Defence’s ‘Be the Best’ recruitment campaign and the funeral cortèges on the streets of Wootton Bassett – but, indicative of this Bedfordshire band’s unflinching take on the state of the world, seems increasingly relevant now, as the clouds of war gather.
“The lyrics reflect the hypocrisy of the political class sending the soldiers out against the public’s wishes, while simultaneously praising their bravery on national television,” explains frontman Dave MacKenzie. “They also highlight the pointlessness and futility of the deaths and trauma inflicted on so many soldiers.”