Gone are the days when bands didn’t have to resort to gimmicks in order to be original. It used to be the case that a band had the option to either start a genre single handed, such as King Crimson did, or bringing said genre into the public spectacle, like Straight Outta Compton
by NWA. Maybe the well of musical inspiration is drying up however because it is getting increasingly harder and harder to find such revolutionary releases in the world today. This means that the most inventive bands today only have one of two things to separate them from the pack, for good or for ill. A good example of this would be The Red Paintings with their strings section as well as the normal band requisites. There is also Bang Camaro, with their seventeen or so lead singers.
The question remains, does it work? In many ways, no. There is no genuine original implementation to set them apart, as all the singers sing the same part at the same time, thus nullifying what potential this had for vocal harmonies, California Dreaming
style. However the vocals are suited to this type of music, and it does make it vaguely more interesting to listen to than most other material in this vein.
Of course, it would be depressing if it was only their singers that kept this album listenable. They do have reasonably talented instrumentalists especially the two lead guitarists, and that is why this album is distinctly more instrumental than vocal. The drummer keeps the beat well and adds in nice fills and solos in every now and then, though they’re nothing ground breaking. The bassist too, does his job well, even though his parts aren’t very taxing on fingers, they are fun to listen to and on the few bass breaks in the album do cause much head nodding.
But, inevitably, the focus is on guitars. This is a very solo driven album, but the solos never become monotonous as they do, for example, on Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime
. It sometimes may feel like this album is just one big solo, with everything else there merely to accompany the guitars, but it does remain a joy to listen to because they space it all well with vocal passages and verse riffs and the like. The solos themselves are indeed technically and creatively excellent. The same goes for the numerous riffs to be found everywhere.
All in all, a very silly album, but at least they realise that and keep it enjoyably silly and never presenting themselves pretentiously, as many bands are capable of. If you are a fan of guitar music and aren’t really looking for anything too new, then this is for you. Even if their vocal gimmick fails, it still keeps them above the rest of the pack, and all the better for it.
Push Push (Lady Lightning)
Swallow The Razor