Although Nirvana and Grunge were beginning to take hold of the global music scene, this is an album that took many by surprise. Being a Scottish band who played tunes on dirt cheap guitars for financial reasons and following an influence from early Classic Rock, these guys were determined to show the world of music that, indeed, a different and historical focus could win hearts and minds over the world. All the same, does this album stand up as a classic, even today? Let’s take a listen and find out.
We kick off with the six minute long piece The Concept which has some loud, feedback guitars and some interesting opening lyrics about a lady who buys Status Quo records, before launching into a raw and different piece of music that is a good mixture of dirty, nasty Punk Rock styled guitars, harmonies and basic melodies that are different. It’s about a girl who loves the band, and what she gets up into her life. An basic, but decent song, the guitar solos here are very precise and well played. This has a very much retro feel to it, and sounds really incredible all the same. It stops in the middle briefly, before launching into some drum rolls, excellent harmonies and more Punk style jangly guitars. A straightforward, yet decent listen, the music here is very simple and very much looking back to Rock history. Another glorious guitar solo emerges in the second half here that sounds slow, but precise and bang on. In any case, an emotional listen and a very good listen that simply just works well. The guitar solos continue on the fade out, very nice.
Next here is Satan which is barely over a minute long. It begins with feedback Punk guitars, and some drums enter in a radical and pounding way. Very weird, yet a reasonable listening experience, this is along the lines of The Velvet Underground here. It goes into a very short Hardcore Punk style piece to finish off with and sounds energetic and awesome.
December comes next, with an awesome guitar set of arpeggios, before launching into a gorgeous and melodic Pop/Rock piece that seriously sounds good. Another rather short piece at around three minutes long, this is a really brilliant and powerful Pop song that sounds incredible and different. An ode to a lover in mind, this is looking back to the romanticism of the 1960s. Awesome and melodic, there is a brief pause, before some strings enter to conclude this song. Brilliant.
What You Do To Me comes next, with some strummed acoustic and electric guitars, before going into another mixture of Pop, Punk and harmonies with a twist of romanticism in it as well. A short, yet rewarding listening experience that is about giving it all for a lover, this is really passionate and excellent music. The chanted singing here is really fine, and this is another great listen, finish nicely.
Next in line is I Don’t Know which begins with some crunchy overdriven riffs, before launching into a good sounding piece of music that is enjoyable and excellent. Some rather ambivalent sounding singing enters, but it fits the piece perfectly here. This is a great album of Classic Pop/Rock tunes to blow your mind away, and this is a keeper. The call-and-response between the guitars and singing here is great, followed by a pause, only to resume into this excellent song. Sure it doesn’t sound hugely expensive, but that is not the point here, this is excellent music that still sounds great today. In the second half, the guitars cut out deliberately for some feedback, before resuming. Clever, artistic and articulate listening, this sounds awesome. A great and energetic song to listen to on repeat, good stuff.
Following is Star Sign which begins with swirling guitars and an eerie sense of melodic playing here. It’s cooler and rawer than some of The Edge’s stuff from U2 around this time, and is a real highlight of this album. Beautiful, cool and brilliant, it quickly launches into the song itself with little warning. The singing here is fantastic, as is the lyricism and band playing. It’s an interesting listen about astrology and other factors, this is really awesome and cool music. A strange mixture of Punk guitars, Pop musicianship and harmony based singing, these songs are definitely worth repeat listens. In the second half is a good mixture of multitracked guitars with both lead and rhythm playing here that is excellent. Catchy and very, very good, a nice listen that sounds great. Awesome song.
Metal Baby follows and has some punchy and odd sounding guitars, with cool, calm vocal harmonies that sound terrific. It’s a strange piece that sounds top and awesome, complete with some awesome lead breaks and occasional handclaps. A weird piece of music that is about a lady who digs Heavy Metal, likely an ex-girlfriend. A song that is honestly just as consistent as others on this album, there seems to be little acknowledgement of cynicism or sarcasm in the singing here, although lyrically it comes across as otherwise. The guitar solos in the second half are really amazing, and finish this awesome piece off nicely. Good job.
Pet Rock comes next, with some brilliant guitar parts that are a mixture of jangly and overdriven sonics, and quickly launches into a great sounding Pop/Rock song. It just sounds really spot on musically, with some interesting guitar solos, powerful drum rolls, rather odd set of sounds here, and a saxophone, too. A really awesome and interesting piece of music that sounds inspired, fresh, youthful and energetic, this fades out nicely at the end. Top stuff by these guys.
Next here is Sidewinder which begins with some of the best singing on the album, acoustic guitar and some interesting electric guitar. A nice and very good love song for a lady, this is very special and lovely sounding here. This is a really effortless sounding piece for a girlfriend or wife to hear, it has some bluesy sounding guitar solos that are really different and expressive. Very catchy, too. A fresh, effortless and amazing listen, some cool guitar sounds are at the end here. Nice tune.
After that is Alcoholiday which is a longer track on the album, being over five minutes long. It begins with some odd and melodic sounding guitars, before launching straight into a piece of Pop harmony singing. It’s seemingly aimed at a lover, and sounds pretty direct. A different piece on this album, it just sounds a little messed up, painting raw relationship issues into music. Still, it’s good music, despite being about serious issues in said relationship. In the middle there are some excellent chord changes, before going into some great singing. The musical structure here is very unique and different, with a melancholy blues guitar solo in the second half. A really awesome effort all the way to the fade out, despite its depressing overtones. Good job.
Guiding Star is next, with an interesting reversed piano intro and some reassuring lyrics about losses and loneliness. An ode to a lady seemingly, it has some brilliant acoustic guitars and a string section that sounds delicious. A very interesting piece of music, it has some more overdriven electric guitars enter in the second half. A brilliant and decent listen that has some interesting electronics in the background, this is a soothing piece of music. Excellent stuff.
Is This Music? comes last on this album here. It begins with some distorted bass guitar, some interesting percussion and some electric guitar that has a bit of melancholy about it. Really cool, and a great way to finish this album, it is a really great instrumental here to conclude this unique sonic journey that we have passed through. Electrifying and undeniably good. Good piece of raw music to finish things up, a really nice listening experience. A great song to conclude with, it fades out gently.
This album is no doubt an original, decent and well worked on classic album that has been barely paid attention to over the years. A good mixture of Classic Rock, Punk guitars, 1960s style harmony singing and a great batch of tunes, you should definitely hear this, this is fine musical history. A great and underrated album. Oddly enough, Nirvana liked these guys, too, as well as many other 1990s musicians. Still, a very great album here to enjoy.
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