Reviews roundup – Status Quo vs. Mairead Nesbitt vs. Neverfall vs. The Usual Haunts
Keep ‘Em Coming: The Collection
Music Club Deluxe
What day is it? It disnae really matter because just about every day heralds a Status Quo compilation album. To be fair this one was on the books before the death of Rick Parfitt so at least it’s not an out and out ghoul fest.
Dave Ling who wrote the sleeve notes managed to squeeze in a line about his death before the liner hit the printers but that aside this is yet another offering of latter day Quo bunged together with little thought or logic.
At least they’re up front about it only covering 1996 – 2011 so you now that it’s al lfrom the “Don’t Stop”,” Under The Influence”, “The Party Ain’t Over Yet”,” In Search Of The Fourth Chord” and “Quid Pro Quo” sequence of albums with a couple of classics tacked on the end n live fashion.
It’s all a bit pointless when you get a real best of for three quid or thereabouts. Completists only.
If you’re a follower of the sensation that is Celtic Woman then you’ll have encountered Ms Nesbitt who played the fiddle for them for over a decade. Prior to that she’d releases a solo album but it’s taken 15 years to fashion a follow up.
And in places, it’s quite glorious especially when she taps into the loaded vein of Celtic melancholia. It happily mixes up classical and Celtic influences so get ready for jigs, reels, sow airs and more presented in an amazing setting.
Musically it’s peerless with only a vocal track breaking the spell. Most of the tunes are pulled together into a series of suites, some benefiting from orchestral arrangements alongside the more traditional Celtic instrumentation. The new material sits beautifully alongside the traditional tunes and anyone who enjoys an Irish classical fusion will take this record to their hearts.
When The Devil Comes A’Callin’
Southern rock from Switzerland! Well why not. It’s the second album from the Swiss rockers following on from “Double or Quits” which came out about five year back. They’ve been on the go for a decade and a half now so they’ve certainly got the hang of things and this is an enjoyable release.
Of course it’s not out and out Southern rock as a lot of the songs are more mainstream seventies rock than anything else but their mix of ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd and AC/DC is a rifftastic treat for the ear.
With a driving Hammond organ sound all that Neverfall really need is a killer song to push them up the league table but that’s the one thing that is missing. Songs like “Four Horses”, “Ragnarocks” and “Come on Down” are fun listens at the time but the memory fades fast. That aside they’re certainly worth dipping into for a Southern tinged seventies fix.
THE USUAL HAUNTS
Living Is Easy
Pool Swimmer Records
Indie rock time and we’re off to the American colonies to catch up with The Usual Haunts who hail from California.
We’ve actually encountered guitarist CJ Caffrey before in his solo guise of Natve and it turns out that vocalist Devon Murray also has a concurrent solo career under the name of Noirre. The whole band is still in the first flush of youth so it’s no surprise to hear that they fit firmly into the US college rock / indie idiom.
There is musical prowess on offer here and Murray has a strong voice. But I need a few more hhoks to hang my hat on before I could claim myself as a convert to their cause. However I’m an old man so it’s not me that they’re trying to attract. But give a 20 year old indie fan a listen to “Palm God” or “Cherry” and I reckon they’ll find it a winner.