Great White - 'Elation' (Frontiers Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Jamie Richards   
Friday, 11 May 2012 04:30

Great_White_ElationThere are two things certain in this life, that's death, and rock 'n' roll bands feuding like schoolboys over the contentious outcome of a game of musical conkers. One such case of the latter involves Great White, a band who have been around in one form or another since the late seventies, I remember them well from their "almost" successful mid-late eighties period. In fact I saw them support Alice Cooper one time at the NEC and they were actually okay, nothing very special, but pretty good all the same. However since that period of success that they enjoyed for a short few years things have been nothing short of farcical, and at times tragic for them; and for the current situation see the former.


Yes it's a very ugly, very messy war of words between former frontman Jack Russell and his onetime band mates, he says he's fired them - they say they fired him; it makes the Guns 'n Roses fall out look like handbags at ten paces. The one thing neither party may have considered when setting out on a legal battle for the name is that, to put it bluntly, is it really worth it?


Last time I checked, the internet wasn't awash with millions of Great White devotees getting excited at rumours of a reunion, and neither was Download organiser Andy Copping offering them a blank cheque to headline his festival the way he might be more than happy to do for say, Led Zeppelin perhaps. The argument shows no sign of going away, and it is really starting to resemble a couple of starving alley cats fighting over a mouse carcass that will ultimately offer the victor only meagre sustenance. So escalated is the feud in fact, that at the time of writing there appears to be a genuine threat that this album may not actually get a release; good for you rock hungry monsters then, that Uber Rock got its' greasy mitts on a pre-release so that we can bring you the scoop on what this 'Great White' album actually sounds like.


So, what does it sound like? Well to me it sounds just exactly as I remember Great White sounding, in fact opening track '(I've Got) Something For You' is a really catchy tune indeed, like a slightly glammed up Georgia Satellites if you will. The pipes of new vocalist Terry Ilous (ex of XYZ) are very much along the classic 'gravely throat' style of Russell himself, so therefore sit with the music of Great White very comfortably, made to measure in fact.  'Heart Of A Man' is a moody workout, and 'Hard To Say Goodbye' is a gentler acoustic driven melody that dare I say Jon Bon Jovi would love to have written.  'Shotgun Willie's' is another catchy sing-along, but 'Promised Land' plods and appears to signal a loss of momentum for what is essentially not really a bad album.  'Just For Tonight' picks up the beat a little, and features some smart lead work from founder member Mark Kendall; it in turn brings about the ballad 'Love Is Not enough', all glossy and atmospheric and stuck in the eighties...a bit like Great White themselves really.


So, if you liked Great White back then, I'd say there's every chance you'd be happy to backcomb your hair to the sound of this right now....if you get to hear it that is.  With the ridiculous public-slanging match, (which it has to be said seems to be instigated by Jack Russell), threatening to engulf the whole thing, the lyrics of closing track 'Complicated' are perhaps a tiny bit too close for comfort perhaps... "It's complicated, a little over-rated" - you said it guys. Now if only Russell would go about his own business quietly, then I'm sure Kendall et al would be only to be happy to go about theirs, which (and Russell would do well to remind himself of this) for a band whose biggest success came from a cover version twenty five years ago, is realistically never going to be anything more than modest.


To pick up your copy of 'Elation' - CLICK HERE