earMUSIC [Release date 15.09.17]
What do high profile musicians do when they’ve experienced sustained success and are staring at the twilight zone? Gizmodrome. That’s what. Spearheaded by one-time Police alumni Stewart Copeland who has co-opted PFM progster Vittorio Cosma, Adrian Belew (erstwhile Zappa acolyte, King Crimson, Bowie) and Mark King (bass thumper of pop fusionists Level 42).
This should be a brilliant album and the one instrumental piece – ‘Stark Naked’ – shows what might have been. But the album is dominated by Belew’s idiosyncratic vocals (and to a lesser extent his equally idiosyncratic guitar).
Essentially he still thinks he’s working with Zappa and the rest of the guys merely supply a fusion-y (if not unappealing) backdrop to his wild observations. At times, the album sounds like The Tubes in the mid-1970s but lacking their innate humour.
If you doubt these observations, check out the cod-reggae ‘Man In The Mountain’ with the weighty words ‘I’ve got the keys to your horse…so giddy up, giddy up, giddy up…’ What were they thinking of?
Tracks like ‘Ride Your Life’, ‘I Know Too Much’ and, in particular, the world flavours of ‘Zubatta Cheve’ are not without their merit, but I am sure this album will alienate as many as it attracts.
I suppose if they take this on the road they can respectively sell some more CDs, but surely it won’t be of Gizmodrome? Conceived in Milan, it was no doubt fun for these ageing rock stars to wig out in between the Bruschetta and the Barolo whilst torching the tonsure but, really? Even the presence of Mark King cannot redeem it. Pass me the Borsa Malata. ***
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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Power Plays w/c 14 August 2017
MOLLIE MARRIOTT Broken (Amadeus Music)
BLACK CAT BONES Seen Better Days (indie)
ORESTEA Welcome To Surviville (indie)
MARTINA EDOFF Champions (AOR Heaven)
GHOSTS OF SOCIAL NETWORKS If This Isn’t Love (indie)
THE BOTTOM LINE I Still Hate You (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 14 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 THE NIGHTS The Nights (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 NEWMAN Aerial (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 BRUCE COCKBURN Bone On Bone (True North Records)
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