What the hell are Heart sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson on? The Lance Armstrong performance enhancement programme? It must be something with one hell of a kick, because they just aren’t sticking to the script.
Artists who’ve been treading boards for five, yes, five decades and been nominated for (but scandalously not inducted into) the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are supposed to grow old gracefully and milk their back catalogue for all it’s worth.
Not so Heart who have seen something of resurgence in the last decade – the patchy Jupiter’s Darling (2004) was a welcome return, but Red Velvet Car (2010) saw them hit their stride again. Fanatic raises the bar another several notches and completes their renaissance.
Nancy may have been dry pretty much since the last album (although her dalliance with drink was never a truly serious addiction) but her abstinence has unleashed some blisteringly raunchy guitar work – it’ll literally rip your speaker cones out of their mountings.
Add Ann’s wonderfully consistent vocals (of one of rock’s all-time greatest female vocalists), and 10 new songs that even add an element of funk (Skin And Bones has distinct Prince/Kiss undertones) to their brand of folk infused rock, and you’ve got one hell of a powerful album.
The girls have never hidden their love of Zeppelin, and producer Ben Mink has pulled the rabbit out of the hat with a sound that has the power and punch of Zeppelin at their pompous best.
But Heart have always been much more than imitators. Forget ‘super groups’ Black Country Communion and Chickenfoot – Ann and Nancy Wilson have turned back the hands of time with an album that outperforms the opposition (new and old) to such an extent that Fanatic really ought to be investigated by the Anti-Doping Agency.
Review by Pete Whalley
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Power Plays w/c 18 March (Mon-Fri)
SUZI QUATRO Macho Man (SPV)
JOANovARC Try It On (indie)
DARK STARES You Know Me (indie)
AS SIRENS FALL She Runs With The Wolves (indie)
KEITH HOWE Got It An’ Gone (indie)
HEAVY FEATHER Long Ride (indie)
IN FLAMES Follow Me (Nuclear Blast)
Featured Albums w/c 18 March (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GLENN SHORROCK Sings Little River Band (Social Family Records)
12:00-13:00 INGLORIOUS Ride To Nowhere (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BONNIE TYLER Between The Earth And The Stars (BMG)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
DEEP PURPLE Slaves And Masters (1990)
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