Reviews roundup – Status Quo vs. Sarah Harding vs. Sweet Crisis vs. Mrs Frizzle vs. Negacy
Why? What for? Who for? For reasons unknown, Edel have decided that what the world needs is a cardboard box containing digipack releases of “Under The Influence”, “In Search of The Fourth Chord” and “Quid Quo Pro”.
That’s it. Honest. With “original covers and “full booklets”. For anywhere between £15 and £20 depending on where you shop. And it’s not even true as “Under The Influence” has the reissue cover and the bonus tracks. Now I’m not going to deny that these are three of the better latter day Quo albums, but it seems a bit mad.
Quo fans will have them, collectors will grit their teeth at having to buy them again, and casual fans will stick to to the £3 best of from Tesco. Granted, it’s cheaper than buying them individually, but that’s all I can say in its favour.
Well, we know now officially that the self proclaimed “good looking one” in Girls Aloud can’t sing.
I believe that this is what the kids call “a banger”, but all I want to do is bang my head in anger at what Girls Aloud did next. Not even the arrival of Autotune half way through manages to save this, even if it is a half decent dance tune.
Of course, deep down we knew this wouldn’t be good. After all we had the “St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold” soundtrack to forewarn us. This needed to be great to work, but it isn’t even close. Career over.
Fight About Nothing
Headline Music Studios
Anyone remember The Music? They were like a second division Cult. Well Sweet Crisis are the new The Music. They look like a rock band (apart from the shirts), they pose like a rock band, but they’re just too polite to be a rock band.
Which is a shame, because there are moments when you think this single is going to turn into something really good. But then they shy away at the last moment leaving you frustrated. A bit like that time the Mr Whippy pulled into the car park, then reversed out again.
I’m not giving up on them, though, because they could actually turn into something good.
I’m not sure about this one. It’s a bit glammy, it’s a bit Europop, it’s a bit eighties..
It’s not bad, but it didn’t make me leap up and down, either. Probably just as well, given the gammy leg. The German band have been plugging away for a decade or so now, with a previous album and a couple of EPs, and you can tell that they are trying to do something good.
But it doesn’t quite work for me, and with only a few songs I played a second time, I can’t help but feel that this an EP stretched out too far. However, the title track, ‘Scream’, ‘Mama’ and a couple of others are worth listening to, so you may want to think about streaming first.
They’re good musicians and vocalist Marleen Riese can hold a tune, but it’s a miss from me.
Flames Of Black Fire
Jolly Roger Records
We’re finishing up for the day with some Italian demi-power metal. I say demi, because they don’t go all the way, holding out like hippy Kathleen at the fourth year dance.
They seem to be looking over to the American colonies for their inspiration, rather than to their European counterparts, and it’s that which prevents them from being full blown power metal. So there is a feeling of US modern metal allied to their more traditional riffs.
But it’s good in places and in-between the noise, they’ve got some interesting melodies and arrangements. Vocalist Marco Piu is certainly an interesting singer, but it’s when they slow the pace a bit that things seem to take on a different life. Because they’re very good at doom and gloom, which gives the guitars room to shine.
Take a listen to ‘Mind Flyer’ or ‘Eye Of The Thunderstorm’ and make your own mind up.