To give The Quireboys a bashing because they keep on playing the same style of music album after album is like bashing bands like AC/DC and Iron Maiden because of the same thing. You’re very well entitled to do just that but I kind of think it’s a bit unjust and unfair. Some bands have their brand and they go for that whole-heartedly. To rewrite the same songs time after time is a whole other matter and I don’t think The Quireboys do that, even though I have heard some people clain that they do. I do not agree one bit. That said, the quality of their albums has been a bit up and down since their reformation back in 2001. To expect them to come up with another masterpiece like their debut A Bit Of What You Fancy (1990) or even the underrated follow-up Bitter Sweet And Twisted (1993) would probably be to ask a bit too much, but the the fact is, the Quireboys has released some damn fine records since then. Hopefully, their brand new one will be one of those.
Opener ”Original Black Eyed Son” throws a nod back to their 2014 album Black Eyed Sons, at least title-wise. It’s a swinging, dark-edged and raw Classic Rock stomper. It’s a true Quireboys rocker complete with horns, gospel influenced backing vocals and a kicking groove right from go. Great stuff. ”Sinners Serenade” is a big, juicy and groovy rock’n’roll kicker that holds a huge party vibe, early 70’s style. I’ll be surprised if this one doesn’t show up when they play live as it can put a paralyzed into motion. Awesome. First single ”Seven Deadly Sins” is a bad-ass, boogie-rocker, chunky and rowdy with a funked-up rhythm and a striking beat. Fan-bloody-tastic. The title-track is an upbeat rocker that holds a late 60’s Pop swagger with super-glue melodies and a chorus with more hooks than a fisherman’s hat. It takes me back to the debut where Pop melodies were as important as their party-groove. Pure brilliance.
The ballad ”End Of The Summertime” comes with a softer outlook, a bit country flavoured but it’s also quite groovy, in the way ”Mona Lisa Smiled” is groovy and not only does it hold a very memorable main-melody, its chorus is also super-catchy which makes for great sing-along moments on summer festival-evenings. Love it. ”California Blues” comes along on a slower and darker note. It’s bluesy, of course, and it do bring on some heaviness on a tougher beat, making the song rock. Good one. ”This Is It” is an uptempo Southern Rock styled pop-rock ballad based on acoustic guitars and a fiddle in the background, giving it a Country & Western smell. Mixed with The Quireboys classic sounding Classic Rock brings out a different vibe but they marry just fine – very good. Say hello to The Faces and Rolling Stones in the raw and tough riff-happy rocker ”Feels Like A Long Time”. With guitars that would put a smile on the mighty Keef’s face, this one grooves across the finishing line as a winner. Brilliant!
”Slave # 1” is a rowdy and bouncy Classic Rock tune that sports some rough and heavy guitar riffing and a fist-in-the-air kinda groove. The song’s refrain is a swinging, in-your-face kind of refrain that catches on directly without being pop-driven at all. This is more of an album track that will most definitely come across brilliantly live. ”Dancing In Paris” is more of a pop-ballad, quite laid-back but also danceable. It’s on the sentimental side but also a bit more saccharine than what we’re used to hearing from these guys, like a ”I Don’t Love You Anymore” with added sugar. That said, Spike’s raspy voice and the band’s Classic Rock profile make sure it’s never cheesy – and it is a good tune. Closing track ”Medusa My Girl” is also a laid-back ballad albeit an edgy one with a darker tone that holds both a Country-twist and a Celtic influence – and it’s also slightly sinister in sound.
While I’m a big fan of this band and most of their later-day albums – except for their underwhelming Blues covers album White Trash Blues (2017) – has really been to my liking, this album is surely their finest effort since the great Homewreckers & Heartbreakers (2008). On this album everything really into place and I really can’t find one song that I find the least underwhelming or mediocre – they all lie somewhere between brilliant and really good and the ”nine” is really damn close. Again, with Spike and his cohorts, you know what you’re getting and if Classic Rock with big influences from Rolling Stones, The Face, David Bowie and the likes aren’t your keg of beer, then this album won’t convert you but for fan of this band and this kind of music, it’s a no-brainer. Cheers!