14 November 2014

Stanley Odd

The Edinburgh based hip-hop collective are now a  thoroughly established part of a musical genre procreated in the Bronx, fostered by the rest of the world, but always considered a less than commanding presence in Scotland’s musical framework where it remained largely underground. But now it’s too powerful to ignore, nurtured well it’s grew up healthy and muscular and suddenly important to everybody. Stanley Odd give it the crucial human element and with their sweeping orchestration, insightful poetics and funky vivacity they have always been the essayists of exciting chapters. As you communicate through a shared taste in street culture raise a glass to Stanley Odd and catch them at a venue of your convenience.

9 November 2014

Kiss: Love Gun 40th Anniversary Special Edition

The theatrical, gimmick laden, cartoon glam/metal rockers legacy is a global brand that boasts more than 3,000 officially licensed products to its name which, if recent reports are to be believed, has earned the serpent tongued, flame spitting bass player Gene Simmons over $300 million. You don’t get that kind of wealth from playing live and releasing albums but from shrewdly planned licensing. Paul Stanley once excitedly blurted ‘ we’ll put our brand on pretty much anything’ and that’s pretty much what they’ve done. From the standard band merchandise stuff (badges, tshirts, hoodies etc)  to condoms, slot machines, a restaurant chain, a golf course, coffins, barbecue sauce and quite possibly the sky, your mum and the weather. Brand more important than band….their stage shows were visually jaw-dropping, a laser spinning, stage turning, pyrotechnic extravaganza, a real pantomime of exuberant, fired up sell-out crowds…Gene Simmons flying over their heads like a giant, overdressed fruit bat…as casually as you like. A Kiss show conjures an atmosphere somewhere between professional championship wrestling and an army of Sybaritic cyborgs marching across the landscape and splitting the land like an impulse...a discernable silence before the destruction, the never ending sabbatical….in a flurry of lights, stage trickery, fake blood and rehearsed exaggeration…a scripted hell, fire and damnation..If you will

This year is the 40th anniversary of their career and they are marking the occasion with a deluxe double cd special edition release of their 1977 album Love Gun. The first CD will contain the completely re-mastered album while the second CD is padded out with the much favoured ‘never before released’ rare demos, the standard interview (this time with Gene Simmons back in 77) and….wait for thissss……three never available live tracks and notes specially written by…..Joe Elliott of Def Leppard! Ooooh Kiss are a gift that just keep on giving….the Kiss Army must be urinating a tsunami in anticipation. The album is considered their best, musically….and the lyrical intellect Paul Stanley unfurls is a mesmerising delight…..be gob smacked at his poetic gifts, for example ‘no place for hiding baby, no place to run, you pull the trigger of my…love gun’ or the equally profound Plaster Caster narratives….’plaster caster, plaster caster, grab a hold of me faster plaster, and if you wanna see my love just ask her’ A cantering composition of delights…a nation sits in silent perplexity…not because of any below-par garbage oh no, they are hushed with admiration and startling wonder at his grasp of the English language. His finest hour though is the kleptomaniacs anthem ‘I Stole Your Heart’ and the biting lyrical swipe ‘I’m something different aint like the rest, how does it feel to find out your failin your test’ he taunts, (poetically), and quite clearly livid. It seemed a bit uncalled for but the woman in question must have really pissed off this literary icon or he wouldn’t write such exquisite vitriol. The acidic, backbiting rhetoric of the forward thinking essayist fills minds with a tumbling waterfall of delights and for the tiniest of moments the entire world want him to pull the trigger of their collective love gun....for he is  a pointless fucking tosser...I mean he isTh he Starchild! Aint he?? I always get those two descriptions muddled up....

Album Review: Tony Wright

Tony Wright
Thoughts 'N' All

As front-man for Terrorvision Tony Wright is the bloke with the upbeat, enthusiastic persona singing instantly likeable pop/metal songs crammed with top-drawer tunes and an infectious knees-up appeal that endeared them to mainstream affections. A cross-genre quirkiness that won them a number 2 slot in the UK singles chart with the mirth-filled tongue in cheek melee Tequila. Between lengthy Terrorvision interludes and ’other’ band projects (Laika Dog) he’s written a solo album that reveals a different side to the man you assumed you knew, a man you’d never have thought might one day turn around and be so philosophically reflective as to  sketch out the  intimacy of thought with nothing but wide open acoustic vulnerability. 

The ghosts of memories reveal their presence, a haunting manifestation of protagonists veering from  subdued reflection to outright dysphoria….Tony Wright is the versatile raconteur bringing it all to life,  slipping effortlessly from confessional narrator to finger pointing observer to name checking chronicler to introspective explorer he shakes out endless fistfuls of personal stuff and charts each in a tenderised, unobtrusive simplicity. Like the flagellating Self Portrait (Rock-a-Boogie-Merchant) uttering out it’s self dialogue with a skipping bounce, the tuneful admittance ‘I’m a lowdown, good for nothing, son of a gun weasel’ is a brilliantly vibrant guilt trip. The emphatic sentiments of Love Hold On span the songs entirety with a brooding regret and hopeful optimism like a self conscious route-map referencing the cause of every consequence that actualized such an emotional trek, 

Shallow Pool (Train Wreck) is a strung-out boozers lament while the stunningly under-produced Do You Love Me is a sublime, emotion jangling declaration of devotion…the bare bones of sincerity exposed in the pleading rhetoric of ‘do you think about me like I think about you’….is that snapshot of self doubt pasted on a million billboards for the world to gaze upon. The almost sentimental reminiscing melodrama Great Horton and the despondently likeable Little Things have a shared kaleidoscopic gravitas. There are those of us who often wondered if Tony Wright had a good solo album in him…..consider it confirmed!