Reviews roundup – Eight Rounds Rapid vs. Clearlight vs. Rick Risi vs. Gasoline Stars

EIGHT ROUNDS RAPID LossLeaderEIGHT ROUNDS RAPID
LossLeader
Cadiz

Hmm, don’t bandy the name Dr Feelgood about, if you’re not going to deliver some Gypie Mayo-esque guitar lines.  And Eight Rounds Rapid don’t.  They’re actually more of a post-punk kind of band, which explains why the supported Wilko Johnson, as post-punkers like that sort of thing.

It also probably helped that their guitarist is Wilko Johnsons son.  Now, they are good at what they do, if that wilfully awkward noise pop is your sort of thing.  It’s one for people who think that Wire and Gang Of Four are / were a good idea.  They weren’t, but give them a go, if you’re daft enough to believe otherwise.

Nice suits, though.

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CLEARLIGHT The Impressionist SymphonyCLEARLIGHT
The Impressionist Symphony
Gonzo

Prog time!  And it turns out that “Impressionist Symphony”, celebrates the 40th anniversary of “Clearlight Symphony”. I would have sent a card, but it was too late, and the shop didn’t have a “sorry I forgot your progtastic anniversary” card.

Seems that Clearlight wanted to take the classical composers, such as Ravel, Debussy and Satie and mix it up with the ethos behind the French impressionist painters, and see what happened.  Which is just about as prog as you can get without dragons.

There are a plethora of top prog names on this album, with Cyrille Verdeaux (piano, synths), Steve Hillage (guitars), Didier Malherbe (wind instruments), Craig Fry (violin), Vincent Thomas Penny (guitars), Paul Sears (drums, percussion), Linda Cushma (bass), Chris Kovacks (synths), Remy Tran (synths) and Tim Blake (xils synths, theramin).  And that’s a lot of Gong to be getting on with.

And it’s an absolute cracker, with the opening ‘Renoir En Couleur’, my particular favourite.  I don’t normally approve of anythng French, but it’s hard to resist a track called ‘Time Is Monet’, and this has ended up being one of my favourite prog albums of the year so far.

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RICK RISI No Shadow DetectedRICK RISI
No Shadow Detected
Sonic Revolution

Some world music now, from the London based Italian Rick Risi.  This is the fourth album from the singer / songwriter who is also a dabhand at the clarinet, doudouk and the xaphoon.  So there.

Don’t come here if you’re looking for convention song structues, but if it’s Kargyraa throat singing you’re after, then you’re in the right place.  Apparently, it’s a  more deep sounding style of throat singing than Tuvan, which you all know and love.  It also explains why the record was recorded in the UK, Italy, Mongolia.

Now I’m not going to pretend to be an expert.  In anything, but I reckon this is good.  His voice is very listenable, the music takes in jazz, smooth grooves, some Caribbean touches, and even some pop.  It’s certainly interesting, which is more than most.

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GASOLINE STARS Good Looks, Bad BehaviourGASOLINE STARS
Good Looks, Bad Behaviour
self released

Well, if it’s a sleaze / glam metal release, then it must be from Sweden.  And it is.  And it rawks!  Now I was there the first time around, so eighties glam metal holds many happy (and mucky) memories for me.  Which is why this was such a blast.

Now I’m not going to pretend that it’s the greatest thing ever. But it’s fun.  And there isn’t enough of that in the world today.  This is the debut from Gasoline Stars, and even if they’re pushing it a bit over 11 tracks, there are half a dozen here, that are well worth a second listen.

Of course they claim that they are not trying to “bring back the 80s” like everybody else, but you can take that with a huge pinch of salt as they rattle through tunes like ‘L.O.V.E.’, ‘Hit It Like You Mean It’ and ‘You Should’ve Known Better’.  Let’s rawk!

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