Album review: INGLORIOUS- Heroine


Frontiers Records (Release Date 10.09.21)

In the seventies it was not uncommon for bands to release two albums a year but it is virtually unheard of these days. So I was surprised when I learned that a little over six months after the release of their very strong fourth ‘We Will Ride’ album, Inglorious have taken advantage of the extra time with no touring opportunities to release a full-length covers album.

On the face of it, this might seem a strange career move. They launched their career with covers of ‘Fool For Your Lovin’ and ‘Burn’ and have since had to work extra hard on original material to convince the naysayers that are out there. In addition, with live action starting up again it detracts attention from their previous release.

Yet this is an intriguing covers album with a difference, as every one of its eleven songs was originally sung by a female artist. Moreover, no bases are uncovered as they dip their toe into covering pop, dance and alternative rock acts.

From the opener of Whitney Houston’s ‘Queen of the Night’, with Nathan James’ raw bluesy tone very much reminding me of Skin’s Nev MacDonald and a spectacular guitar solo, nearly every song is given the Inglorious treatment and  turned into a storming hard rocker regardless of its origins.

The one exception is the penultimate number, Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’  which is delivered in even more stripped back fashion with raw, hurting vocals from Nathan James. It is easy to imagine it’s something he might have done in his days as a reality TV hopeful.

Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ is given a faithful rendition with brilliant guitar work even if the arrangement is a little too cluttered.  Other much-covered rock classics such as ‘Nutbush City Limits’, with some r’n’b-style piano, and ‘I Hate Myself for Loving You’ are fun, but unchallenging.

More interesting is when they tackle different genres. Christina Aguilera’s ‘Fighter’ and Miley Cyrus  ‘Midnight Sky’ are transformed into rockers, the latter sounding more like Shinedown  though that got me thinking that contemporary rock has adopted more dance music influences than we might like to admit. A brilliant rocked up version of Avril Lavigne’s ‘I’m In You’ shows quite what an underrated power ballad that was.

In the middle ground are more alternative rock songs, a particularly interesting development as ‘We Will Ride’ saw them moving away from the classic bluesy hard rock towards a new more modern direction.   Evanescence’s Bring Me to Life’ is complete with a touch of nu-metal rapping and Halestorm’s ‘I Am the Fire’ provides a neat symmetry in this as Lzzy Hale’s outfit are a suitable comparison, having themselves released EPs of cover versions of a dizzying variety of original styles.

The album ends with Alanis Morrissette’s ‘Uninvited’ delivered in epic fashion with Nathan going from a falsetto to his trademark throaty roar, supported by a big production. This had already become a live favourite pre-pandemic and, I would wager, lit the spark for this whole concept. It is one they have carried off spectacularly well- with the band sounding this good let’s hope they continue to write their own material in just as good a vein.

**** 1/4

Review by Andy Nathan

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Power Plays w/c 24 January (Mon-Fri)
UNTIL 9 Headstone (indie)
MARSHALL POTTS The Storm (indie)
WAKING THE ANGELS Stand Back From The Redline (CD Baby)
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