Reviews roundup – Status Quo vs. Beat The Drag vs. Molten Crown
The Very Best Of The Early Years
I really shouldn’t. I mean, I really shouldn’t. How many different versions of this do I need? I stopped counting at about fifty, but here is yet another set of the Pye era recordings from The Status Quo (and The Spectres and the Traffic Jam), and here I am buying it again.
This time around, it’s a 2CD, 40 track offering, which rounds up all the usual suspects, in no particular order. There is no real reason for buying it, unless you’re either an idiot like me, or someone who doesn’t already have all these songs. And there can’t be many of them left.
It might have been better, if they had put any effort into the artwork or the sleeve notes, but even though it’s a fold out digipack CD, they haven’t. The music, as always veers between the sublime and the ridiculous, but there is always room in my heart for yet another spin of ‘Sunny Cellophane Skies’ or ‘Are You Growing Tired Of My Love.
BEAT THE DRAG
What’s Your Damage
Pawn Shop Rock Star
Well, that was rather good. From over in that there Hollywood, Beat The Drag are kind of a hybrid stoner / punk band, the kind of thing Queens of the Stone Age would like to have been, had they not been shite.
They seem to be very angry about something or other, which is what the young should be, before they end up old and tired like me. And it’s the punk attitude combined with the hard rock guitars that makes this so listenable.
But what really sets them apart from their peers is a pop sensibility to the choruses and the melodies. It’s hard to pull off, but they’re shouty enough for the rock kids but they won’t scare off the popstrels. You can imagine songs like ‘Split-Second Smile’ on the radio, a song which will bring in the punters and get them ready for harder edged material like ‘Insignificant Other’.
A job well done and a band to watch out for.
The Molten Crown
A melodic prog concept album with vampires. We must be off to Germany. And so mote it be.
They started life as a covers band, and it took them 6 years to reach this point. There is no doubting the effort and passion they’ve put in either, as this self released album is as shiny as many a major release.
There is a lot here that would appeal to fans of the softer side of female fronted symphonic metal, both in presentation and motif. However, this is also the end of a brief era as vocalist Jenny Krämer has now left the band. To be fair her voice was a tad poppy for songs like ‘Demon Inside (The Evil Begins)’ so who knows. There may be brighter times ahead.