Classic Rock’s New Release Round-Up
This week, we’ve got Teaze, Band Of Skulls, Joe Perry, Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbeats (or Unenthusiastic Deadbeats?) and Uriah Heep…
If you only buy one reissue this week, then it’s got to be One Night Stands by Teaze. This 1979 nugget originally came out via Capitol Records and has now been snapped up and remastered by the estimable Rock Candy label. There’s even a bonus track, Loose Change, that’s been dug up from the vaults. Produced by April Wine mainman Myles Goodwin, ONS is the cult Canadian quartet’s finest hour. Mixing the tuffness of Triumph with the histrionics of Styx, Teaze kick off in fine style with prime-time guitar groover Back In Action – and the album just keeps getting better. Our favourite track? The peerless party-hard opus Boys Night Out – hold on, did someone at the back of the Classic Rock office just call it a gay anthem?! We particularly like the lyrics: ‘We’ll break some windows, we’ll make break some laws, won’t be home ’til morning… smokin’ an’ swearing’ ’til daybreak.’ Sheesh! That was little short of anarchy back in the late 70s. One other song that caught our attention is Touch The Wind – it’s an absolute dead-ringer for a classic Bruce Dickinson-fronted Iron Maiden toon, even though the track was released two years before Bruce joined the band. Sheesh – are we on to something here? Have we unearthed a top-secret Maiden influence?
Back to brand-new releases, and we’re digging Baby Darling Doll Face Honey from Band Of Skulls (Psycollective LLC). BOS couldn’t sound less like they come from Southampton: their sound is as international as their appeal is universal. One suspects that they know their true worth, because Baby Darling… was unleashed on the American market first. And rather than wasting time breaking Camden, Band Of Skulls promoted their debut single I Know What I Am with gigs in Tokyo and Moscow. iTunes made it their single of the week. Ultimately, Band Of Skulls are no ordinary band and Baby Darling… no ordinary album. It throws up numerous reference points (Zeppelin, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, The White Stripes) yet remains engagingly unique.
On Joe Perry’s new album Have Guitar, Will Travel (Roman) the Aerosmith man has most certainly got the rock’n’rolls again. Perry comes from the old school of ‘if it ain’t broke, then smash it up’. The human riff junior has no shortage of ideas on this, his fifth solo outing, which, judging by the liner notes, was put together in downtime after Steven Tyler’s recent stage tumble. But as with his previous albums – whether with his Project or without – there’s always a sneaking suspicion that some of the tracks were intended for The Other Band. We’ve Got A Long Way To Go could have been a tasty out-take from Rocks, while Do You Wonder sounds like a demo version of one of ’Smiths’ über ballads. If you can’t quite afford to add Perry’s latest to your collection, then stay tuned to the Classic Rock website for an amazing – not to say groundbreaking – future announcement! We shall say no more…
Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbeats? More like Unenthusiastic Deadbeats, we reckon. As the metronomic backbeat for Red Hot Chili Peppers and, more recently, both Glenn Hughes and Chickenfoot, Smith has proved himself to be one of the most hard-hitting and boisterous of modern rock drummers – and the kind of unstoppable force of nature that, as he demonstrates on Meet The Meatbeats (Ear Music), is perfectly suited to leading from the front. If you like ragged, ballsy, funk-rock oriented jams, you’ll love this. If not, steer well clear.
Uriah Heep’s Celebration: Forty Years Of Rock (Ear Music) comprises re-recorded Heep highlights, plus two new tracks. Performed by the current 2009 line-up (whose only original member is Classic Rock website columnist Mick Box) it’s a relief to report not just on how well vocalist Bernie Shaw emulates the band’s late singer David Byron (dead of liver disease at age 38) but, equally commendably, how easily the two new tracks – the rather too bouncy Only Human and the nicely cell-padded Corridors Of Madness – fit in with their musically ancient counterparts. Some may argue a simple best-of would have done the job. But with the current line-up – with the exception of drummer Russell Gilbrook, who joined in 2007 – now approaching their 25th year together, it would be churlish to deny them the pleasure of recording songs they have been performing for far longer their 70s forbears.
Finally, we’ve got to mention AntiProduct’s Please Take Your Cash (White Devil Music). Let’s face it, this band have always wanted to be the missing link between The Wildhearts and The Beach Boys, Well, with this album they’ve finally connected up the chain. It’s 70s bubblegum music – but laced with a high dose of 21st Century irony and spikiness. And the version of the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations is so audacious you’d swear they nearly outdo the original. A gloriously cartoonish effort.