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  QUIREBOYS ALBUM REVIEW AND INTERVIEW
'Beautiful Curse'
(Off Yer Rocka Records)

Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske



quireboys

It is almost 25 years since I first saw the Quireboys supporting the mighty Aerosmith at the equally mighty Hammy O. One of the new breed of UK bands along with the likes of Thunder that were poised for greatness until the abhorrence known as grunge reared its ugly head.

They have had the odd break since then of course but for the last ten or so years they have been back, doing what they did best and what they still do best – writing damn fine songs and strutting their stuff on stages big and small. Quireboys always were unmistakeably themselves, no pretentious heads stuck up their arses like far too many in the music industry.

Article continues below...

iron maiden



So what about their first studio release for all of five years? As guitarist Guy Griffin told me, the album title 'Beautiful Curse' sums up life on the road with music, a wonderful thing for those that get to live it tinged with long periods away from home. Curse it may be but beautiful it most definitely is.

On first listen the album is just what you would expect from the band – not that they are predictable but you can guarantee shooting from the hip rock 'n' roll that brings a smile to the old boat race and gets your feet twitching. But there is a lot of depth to this one, they are quite clearly doing what they want to without any outside interference (yes execs, that's you) and the result is as good as anything they have done since the seminal 'A Bit Of What You Fancy' back in 1990.

Spike is, well, Spike, his voice always instantly recognisable but you get the sense that on this one he is more relaxed, more passionate and the emotion flowing from that gives even more gravitas to his voice. His voice may not seem to be a powerful as it was but that is more than made up for by the passion. Musically it is a clever album with something new on nearly every listen, a sign of seasoned songwriters and musicians but never detracting from what the band is all about.

quireboys

First up is 'Too Much Of A Good Thing' and there is nothing like a good old fashioned bit of rock n' roll to kick things off. Guitar riff to get your body shaking, vocals causing more foot stomping than is healthy, chorus inducing even the most lethargic to leap around like a rabid wolverine on heat.

This is the Quireboys doing what they do better than anyone else and if they ever gain independence it would suit well as their anthem. There is a moral too – you definitely can't have too much of a good thing.

Health advice comes next in the form of 'Chain Smokin''. Another classic riffing piece of rock, sleazy undertones pulling it along by the proverbials. "Don't preach to me, I'm chain smokin'" - personally I'm off down the pub and if anyone complains about my smoking habits, I'm happy in the knowledge I have Spike on my side.

'Talk Of The Town' slows things down just a little, more a meander than a torrent. The keyboards on this one adding an extra level especially on the chorus, guitar perfectly leading the track into a slower tempo before it rises back at the end.

'Mother Mary' is next to hit my ears and starts off with a melody full of remorse and sorrow, thoughts echoed by the lyrics and Spike's delivery just reinforces the feeling. Don't listen to this if you are prone to slipping into the melancholy – it will get you. Ain't that what music is meant to do? Music, vocals and lyrics combine to talk to you, suggest... this is a true ballad, not the all too common lightweight pap that doubles as a filler. A very memorable song.

'King Of Fools' takes us back up to the sound probably most associated with the band, rock and roll keys a plenty, bar room boogie thrown in. It must be party time and they are buying.

'Homewreckers And Heartbreakers' starts off with infectious keyboards, riff getting down, dirty and funky, vocals pulling it along before the slide guitar adds even more and it is beautifully done. Musically this is a masterpiece, the transitions are almost imperceptible and there are plenty of them here, but none of them are forced. The Quireboys were once described as the UK's answer to Poison – Poison in their wildest dreams couldn't come close to this.

'Diamonds And Dirty Stones' does actually have a bit of the Stones about it, that's the Rolling ones rather than anything sparkly. Funky guitar coming in over the drums, vocals sliding in – Spike involved in a six-string conversation, a song in a song, before it settles into its rhythm before the chorus brings it back out again, catchy lyrical melody backed by equally memorable guitar, the two perfectly in tune, emotionally and musically. You get the feeling these guys know what each other is thinking without needing a conversation.

Guitar goes off on a monologue, a great solo, before filtering back seamlessly to the song. This is a very well written and crafted song but it could have gone stratospheric if the production matched, but more about that later. Suffice to say it's a case of class coming through in spite of, not because of the production. Simon Hansen's drumming on this one too is the perfect foil, leaving room for the guitars to do their business without ever overloading the song.

So to the title track 'Beautiful Curse'. Cowbell initiating the song, guitar riff piling in, organ completing the sound as it swoons, breaking through before the vocals kick in. A superbly smooth intro, musically complete. "Searching for some piece of mind, searching for the truth, heading to the promised land... I've been blessed, I've been cursed." Spike sums up the mixed sentiments of what they do, what musicians do.

The infectious riff and keyboard patterns stamp their mark on the song all the way through, vocal melody and lyrics filled with the genuine feeling of a double edged sword. It's not all wine and roses but you can't go against what is inside you.

'Don't Fight It' starts off slowly, piano letting you know the mood, vocals tinged with sorrow and pain, organ again filling the space during the chorus, understated guitar pulling on the heart strings. This type of song is hardly a new concept but where Spike and co do so well is by keeping the song simple, keeping it under control and not going in the templated rock ballad direction.

Hell I wouldn't even call this a ballad. This talks to you from the heart as only music can, music that comes from the heart.

'For Crying Out Loud' lifts the spirits from the first riff and from the first growl of "Hey" you know what is coming. Drums build, bar room keys and rock n roll guitar again doing what they do best. Pure Quireboys this one, and it is sometimes easy to forget just how hard this kind of music is to get right. They just do it so well it is easy to get blasé about it, and the best bit is this crosses all genres.

'Twenty Seven Years' is an intriguing song, straightforward on the surface but there is a lot to this one. Guitar kicks straight in, upbeat musically, reflective vocally and lyrically. "I've made it through the tears of 27 years" is tinged with both relief and sadness about those who didn't during that time – 27 years is about the time the boys have been together as a band. Stirring stuff indeed.

So to the closer, 'I Died Laughing', a medium pacer, organ again coming to prominence during the intro, guitar changing down, vocals again packed full of thought and emotion. This one just goes to show how mature the band now is, how they have grown and how varied their musical resume now is.

So there you have it, the first one for FIVE years and if the result were the same with every band I would strongly suggest that is the perfect interval between albums. In truth though this has not been five years in the making, they spend so much time doing what rock bands live to do, touring, and armed with new management and label, the time was right. As Guy told me the chances are they won't be waiting five years for the next one. Cue loud cheers and sighs of relief.

The most impressive aspect of this album is the immense diversity on offer, this is an album for both musicians and music lovers. Even more impressive is that it is transparent none of the songs are anything other than from the band's heart, from the very soul of who they are and that is refreshing in these days of corporate entanglement. Honesty in music is as important as anything else and this is integrity personified.

From a personal point of view, this has put a smile on my face in the same way that the latest Queensryche offering did. Both bands and their music went hand in hand with my depraved youth and it's of great comfort to know my middle aged depravity (yes I am old enough to know better but I choose to ignore that) is being accompanied by some familiarity.

Down sides? Musically nothing whatsoever, but I do have an issue with some of the production. In some places the drum sound is almost as lifeless as a Coldplay gig and there is that feeling that the live sound of the band that is an essence of them has been dumbed down – it is all a little flat on occasion. It is not badly produced as such, just not to my mind suited to this band. But I don't want to dwell on that too long and distract from what is a damn fine album. Neither am I going to dwell on the well publicised rhythm section departure.

Most of you know all about The Quireboys but if you were in any doubt about their credibility now, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

This is as good as any album I have come across this year so get hold of it however you can and get out and see them, twice. Superb songs, down to earth guys, great musicianship – don't you just hate some people!




beer beer beerbeerbeer
(and that half is down to the production)


9.7.13









iron maiden



 

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wakrat WATCH RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE'S TIM COMMERFORD START NEW NATION IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE ON VIDEO HERE
"The current system is oppressive and elitist, promoting racist ideologies in order to push a self-serving agenda..."

led zeppelin LED ZEPPELIN GIVE YOU AN INSIDE LOOK AT 'THE COMPLETE BBC SESSIONS' SUPER DELUXE
Musical highlights on this new collection include the debut of a long-lost radio session that has achieved near-mythic status among fans...

saxon SAXON PRESENT A HOARD OF LIVE GLORY IN A BOX OF VINYL GOLD
"This is not going to be around again and with exclusive art work too. Bring it on - I think we'll play some of these tracks on tour in the Autumn."

journey toto JOURNEY AND TOTO LIVE SPECTACULARS ON THE WAY IN SEPTEMBER
"When I first listened back, the thought omnipresent in my mind was simply, 'That's that raw, sizzling energy we had in high school!'"

geoff tate GEOFF TATE'S OPERATION MINDCRIME UNVEIL TWO NEW TRACKS
"With the key finally in his possession, "H" has everything he needs to finally launch his long awaited project called The New Reality. Or does he..."

big country BIG COUNTRY HEADING OUT ON 'THE SEER' 30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Big Country will be performing 'The Seer' in its entirety when tbey hit the road for a 24-date UK tour starting on September 14th...

metallica UK EXCLUSIVE: METALLICA RELEASE 'HARDWIRED' - NEW VIDEO RIGHT HERE
"Has it really been eight years? Doesn't feel like it! We’re obviously beyond psyched to share new tunes with all our friends out there via MetalTalk...

manowar WAS BREAKING NEWS: MANOWAR TICKETS ON SALE FOR THE FINAL BATTLE WORLD TOUR
The Kings Of Metal are abdicating and our very last Call To Arms is coming...

opeth OPETH DETAIL WEMBLEY ARENA SHOW
"We'll only play this set list three times on the whole world tour so if you miss it, you'll have missed it..."

tank UPDATED: TANK RELEASE DIGITAL DELUXE VERSIONS OF 'WAR MACHINE' AND 'WAR NATION'
"Doogies vocals were exactly suited to this period of Tank and we're extremely proud of what we created in these two albums."

pete way PETE WAY LEAVES HOSPITAL AFTER HEART ATTACK
"Pete Way and I would like to thank you all for your messages, kind thoughts and prayers..."

vader WAS BREAKING NEWS: VADER ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER LONDON GIG
Vader will be touring in support of their recently announced new studio album 'The Empire' which is due for release this autumn...

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'JOIN TOGETHER' AS 'MAKE SOME NOISE' CRASHES INTO WORLDWIDE CHARTS
"We want to thank all of our fans and friends around the world for the amazing support of our new record 'Make Some Noise'!"

bloodstock POLICE APPEAL FOR INFORMATION REGARDING SEXUAL ASSAULT AT BLOODSTOCK
"Police are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch and are asking people to share this appeal..."

guns n roses EXCLUSIVE: GUNS N' ROSES DOWNLOAD ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE WAY WITH AUSTRALIAN AND JAPANESE DATES CONFIRMED
Other possibles for the remaining two headline slots are Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Metallica...

roger dean URIAH HEEP, BUDGIE AND ATOMIC ROOSTER ARTISTS WORK TO BE IMMORTALISED ON STAMPS
Roger Dean has designed over 100 album covers for artists including Yes, Asia, London Symphony Orchestra, Nightwing, It Bites and Snafu.

evil scarecrow WAS BREAKING NEWS: EVIL SCARECROW ANNOUNCE 'ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANADO' TOUR
"We'll be bringing our biggest, silliest show yet along with some brand new, probably never heard before, music 'genius'..."

blaze bayley BLAZE BAYLEY TO BE FEATURED IN MULTI-PART CANADIAN DOCUMENTARY
"I'm excited to be returning to Canada and I look forward to meeting my fans, with the opportunity for them to be a part of the documentary."

last in line LAST IN LINE ADDED TO WINTER STORM LINE-UP
Winter Storm, the festival that will take place over the weekend of 25th and 26th November in Troon, South Ayrshire, have already announced an exciting line-up...

tony iommi GREAT NEWS FROM TONY IOMMI: CANCER IS IN REMISSION
"The chemotherapy and the follow-up treatment appear to have done the trick — but I'm aware that it could come back one day."

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 2016 UK TOUR
"Hold on to your butts cause we will be headbanging our way through your town! Bring your A game cause we will be bringing ours..."

ac dc AC/DC IN FULL FLIGHT: QUALITY LIMITED EDITION BOOK IS A MUST FOR COLLECTORS
All of the photographs have been carefully processed and digitally restored to optimise reproduction quality.

ozzy osbourne BOB DAISLEY FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST OZZY OSBOURNE, WHO RESPONDS
"We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr Osbourne's success."

70 tons of metal 70000 TONS OF METAL: SIXTY BANDS, BARS THAT NEVER CLOSE AND MUCH MORE
Heavy Metal bands from around the globe playing concerts on four different stages...

lamb of god WAS BREAKING NEWS: LAMB OF GOD REVEAL NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'EMBERS': MARK MORTON HAS SOME DEEPLY PERSONAL WORDS
"Nearly a decade after 'Walk With Me In Hell' it was happening yet again. Art was imitating life..."

iron maiden WAS BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN RELEASE "THANK YOU" VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
Now it's break time for Iron Maiden but they will be back for a full scale UK Tour in 2017...

meat loaf WAS BREAKING NEWS: MEAT LOAF RELEASES SECOND TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM WITH JIM STEINMAN - LISTEN HERE
"Now psychologist and psychiatrists all over America are giving it to their patients..."

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