Reviews roundup – Curved Air vs. Her vs. Hard:On
Curved Space and Infinity
Curved Air Records
When is a Curved Air not a Curved Air? When Sonja Kristina doesn’t appear on them, that’s when. And so it is with this second release of rarities, a double album of instrumental improvisations.
Yes, that’s right. So don’t come here if you’re looking for a tune to whistle along to. The first part of this has been out before as Francis Monkman’s ‘Jam’ and that’s augmented by a couple of bonus tracks. The other offering sees some 2016 recordings by Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums) Kirby Gregory (guitar) and Robert Norton (keyboards) .
And it largely falls into the interesting category. It’s the earlier material from the nineties that actually works best as it seems a tad more focussed whereas the newer stuff has a tendency to ramble. But fans of improv rock will definitely enjoy what’s been put out and there is a wealth of ideas lurking in the grooves.
I’ll leave it to die hard fans to argue over whether it’s Curved Air or not, and they’re the only ones likely to be adding this to their collection.
This is quite an interesting release. It’s pop and rock with a few country licks in there for good measure. HER is the brainchild of singer Monique Staffile and she’s certainly got a decent set of pipes tucked away.
There are also plenty of strong melodies and hooks to grab onto with the rockier guitars ramping up the energy levels. It’s new to me but there are some earlier releases out there and the New York band have also done club tours of Europe so there is something that folks are grabbing a hold of.
It all definitely sits on the pop side of the fence though, so it’s not really for those who like to rawk. But there’s a multitude of good things going on here all of which mean this is a release that’s definitely worth checking out with songs like the title track and “”No Regrets” racking up a lot of repeat plays.
To Brazil! And to a world where it’s still perfectly acceptable to crank out some Cock! Shock! Rock! Which is fine by the likes of me who grew up in a Motley Crue world.
The delightfully named Hard:On are the band responsible and they do seem to like it over there on the grubbier side of sleaze rock and glam metal. Guitarist Alex Hoff and his longtime friend, bassist Ricardo Bozo are the main men here and they’ve got the eigties vibe and attitude down pat.
Chris Hoff has the right voice for the job and he’d have been right at home in the world of Stephen Pearcey. Add in some fine rawk tunes like “Pole Dance”, “We’re Not Going Home Tonight” and “Liv It Up (The Festival Song)” and this is a good place to tease your hair and grind your hips.