Reviews roundup – Perfect Wig vs. Black Rain Again vs. Brother Of Mars vs. The Brothers Reed
It’s glam metal from Moscow! And that’s Moscow, Russia not Moscow, Ayrshire. Yes, the mid-eighties have finally arrived in Mother Russia, and here come Turik, Eugen Troshin, Vasiliy and Ivan Sadovnichiy to regale us with tunes about girls, cars, rawk, partying, girls and more girls.
They glory in the days of Motley Crue, Fastery Pussycat and their ilk, and are more than happy to sing a song about ‘Hollywood’, the ‘Sex Police’, ‘Hangover School’ and the ‘Whiskey Bus’. They’re good musicians, which helps, and at least half the songs on this album would have got them an opening slot at the Roxy circa 1985.
Of course, it’s all about thirty years too late, but I had fun listening to it, and I’m sure they had fun making it. And what’s wrong with that.
BLACK RAIN AGAIN
Off to Italy now for something much less fun. Yes, it’s Italian nu-metal meets grunge time with Illo Mozzato (vocals), Emanuele Esposti (guitar, vocal), Marco Stranieri (guitar), Alessandro Rimoldi (bass) and Lorenzo Cattaneo (drums) having decided, based on no evidence whatsoever, that what the world needs is more System Of A Down, Linkin Park and Foo Fighters soundalikeys.
Of course the world doesn’t need that, but there are a surprising number of people who think that this is rock. They’re wrong, but they shouldn’t be punished for it. Yet. But until the day of reckoning, they will find solace in the music on offer here.
‘Hypnodisco’, ‘Feel the Rain’ and ‘Into the Nightmare’ are grungy enough to keep the most ardent Dave Grohl fan happy for quite some time. They’re certainly capable musicians and have a very professional sound. But don’t come looking for a party.
BROTHER OF MARS
Welcome To My Breakdown
That’ll teach me. I thought I was depressed after listening to nu-metal / grunge, and what should pop up next but a concept album talking about a living in a modern society made of depression, abuse and sickness. Cheers.
Despite the name, I can’t blame Italy for this, because Brother Of Mars seem to be a London based band, but it is the brainchild of composer and songwriter Mauro Zarattini. The opening gambit is all about depression and suicide, and the days of the ‘Sex Police’ seem long gone.
And that’s before we get to the priest, the girl with cancer and the victims of domestic abuse. And those are the good days. However, prog fans will find a lot to enjoy here, as the intricate story unfolds. Thankfully, Mr Zarattini has also remembered to write some good melodies, so even as you to try to blank out the horrors unfolding, you do get the chance to tap your feet from time to time.
What passes for a happy ending is the original protagonist understanding the acceptance is the key to get over the past. Me, I was reaching for the booze and pills.
THE BROTHERS REED
Sick As Folk
Gotta love that title. And, thankfully, the album lives up to it, as the Brothers Reed pull me back from the abyss with a jaunty debut album, chock full of folk, Americana and country tunes, replete with great melodies and well crafted lyrics.
There are some great vocal harmonies, and there is at least half an album here that will get you hitting the repeat button. They don’t get out of second gear very often, with ‘Hell Fire Lake’ as close as they get to a hoedown. Instead, they lean towards the singer songwriters from the seventies who begat the alt-country movement. The difference, though, between this and the likes of Ryan Adams, largely involve the Brothers Reed not being shite.
The best of the tunes are all loaded up at the beginning with ‘Show After Show’, ‘Black Blood’ and ‘Tennessee’ showing you exactly what they’re made of. When they’re not doing this, the brothers play in a punk band, but we can only hope that this digression is merely the beginning of something.