|The Glitterati - 'Are You One Of Us?' (DR2)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Monday, 19 April 2010 06:00|
The story of The Glitterati is a familiar one for bands all over this rock 'n' roll world. Seemingly plucked out of nowhere, major label record deal in their grubby little hands, legendary rock producer enlisted to twiddle the knobs for their debut album, major tour supports, multi-format single releases....then cast aside by the Yes Men of an industry that eats its own.
......and then they disappear.
So how do I find myself some five years after the release of that debut sitting here writing about the new album by The Glitterati? It would seem that this gang of five don't play by the rules and that, above all else, sees them gain the Über Röck seal of approval with staggering ease. That 'Are You One Of Us?' is an ass-kicker of a rock record is, of course, a bonus.
That self-titled debut album from 2005 was produced by Mike Clink who had produced one of the greatest rock bands from the 1980's - Sea Hags - and possibly someone else. The record contained enough great songs for us cool kids to think that we had another band whose every move we should follow but perhaps, in hindsight, suffered from maybe a little too much of an influence from the Britrock scene that was happening at the time. That they would seemingly disappear from our rock 'n' roll lives was unfortunate yet not unheard of - good bands get chewed up and spat out by this fashion whore of an industry every day of the week. For them to return, again, is not that much of a surprise. The surprising part is that, unlike so many other bands who think that they can still swim in piranha-infested waters when only pride is keeping the flesh on their bones, The Glitterati have produced a new album in 2010 that might just top that debut record.
A bold claim perhaps, but one that might hold more credence than a clearwater revival. I have rolled this thought around in my head for the several weeks that I have had the promo of 'Are You One Of Us?' pumping out of my speakers, so much so that, as I write this, I have just played both albums back to back....again. The soul of the band is still there, fans of that first record cannot possibly dislike this new album, and that Glitterati sound remains, spearheaded by the vocals of Paul Gaughtry that, unfairly, seem to be routinely attacked by so-called experts who throw cheap shots and low blows with alarming, anonymous ease.
And that brings me to the review of this album in a once-great national rock music magazine this past week. Missing the point by a c(o)untry mile, this write-up was further proof that the people in positions of power know little about what they profess to be expert in. Sounding like Smashing Pumpkins? That opener 'Right From The Start' appears to be an open love letter to The Wildhearts that was hidden from that reviewer in plain sight - didn't he see the shirt that Gaughtry is wearing on the cover? - is proof that fashion and hidden agendas rule in the corridors of music journalism at this moment in time. The only agenda we follow here at Über Röck is this; we write positive reviews for great rock records and, believe me, this is one.
From the afore-mentioned opener - which rocks, trust me - to album closer, the great 'Lola It's Over', 'Are You One Of Us?' is a record that offers out all non-believers. That the song 'Fight Fight Fight' was the first release from the album - available as a free download late last year - is further proof if you really need it. The album has a swagger that all records of this ilk need and appears to be mainlining cool. There also appears to be around four hundred examples of glorious melody with hooks more infectious than a zombie bite thrown around with relative ease. The band have taken a chance by slinging a dozen tracks on the album but, happily, the filler is at a minimum. Short, sharp shocks of songs - that dirty dozen take just over forty minutes to shake your moneymaker - with each one offering your head a hook to hang in it for the following couple of days.
There are brief moments of clarity, subtlety even, like the track 'Shanty' but generally this is a record that is a blur of fat riffs, big choruses and attitude. 'Cashcow' - what could that be about? - reminds me a little of classic Gun, 'Your Idea' tips its hat in the direction of the first Velvet Revolver record and 'Keeping Me Down' is the not-too-distant cousin of something that Honeycrack could have recorded but that's just me throwing some names out there for the rock reader in a hurry - this sounds like The Glitterati and this sounds good.
Remember at the end of Star Wars when, all hope seemingly lost, Han and Chewie return and, punching the air, you just knew that everything was gonna be alright? That's how the return of The Glitterati makes me feel. But without the wookiee.
The Glitterati, all hope seemingly lost, have made a fist of their sound and have come back swinging. The knockout? 'Are You One Of Us?' is one of my favourite albums this year and I couldn't give a fuck how fashionable that opinion is.