Here are this week’s latest record reviews, courtesy of Kevin Bryan.
Kate Pierson, Guitars and Microphones (Lazy Meadow Music). The first solo album from B52s stalwart Kate Pierson may only clock in at just over 36 minutes in terms of overall playing time, but it’s such an infectious and life enhancing piece of work that punters will be hardly likely to feel shortchanged by the contents. Kate’s typically sassy fusion of psychedelia, party rock and sociopolitical punk fizzes with so much effervescent energy that it’s hard to believe that the American new wave icon is now officially a senior citizen. Producers Sia Furler and Tim Anderson also deserve a mention in dispatches for their creative contributions to showstopping tracks such as Thrown Down The Roses, Bring Your Arms and the irrerepressibly upbeat title tune.
Colosseum, The Reunion Concerts 1994 (Talking Elephant). This highly musicianly showcase for the collective talents of venerable jazzrock institution Colosseum features two tracks recorded at their reunion concert at the ZeitMusikFestival in the German city of Freiburg and six more from their Cologne show a few months later. Colosseum hadn’t played together for more than two
decades but the sextet go about their business with the vigour of me half their age, and Dave Greenslade, Dick Heckstall Smith and their cohorts are in particularly fine fettle on Those About To Die.. and the superb Valentyne Suite, although drummer Jon Hiseman’s 12-minute plus drum solo , Solo Colonia, is unlikely to appeal to too many non percussionists.
Paul Revere and the Raiders, Revolution! (Cherry Red / Now Sounds). This delightfully dated slice of sixties pop rock first saw the light of day in 1967, and was essentially a vehicle for the creative talents of vocalist Mark Lindsay and producer Terry Melcher, who enlisted the aid of some of some top notch West Coast session men to underpin their efforts after three of The Raiders had left the fold a few months earlier. Ry Cooder, Glen Campbell and James Burton all played their parts in the success of a splendid set, which is revived here in its original mono mix alongside bonus stereo versions of standout tracks such as Mo’reen, I Had A Dream and Him Or Me What’s It Gonna Be?
Ugly Guys, Still TwentyFive In Your Head (Angel Air Records). This engaging throwback to the golden age of Pub Rock in the mid-70s features former Kursaal Flyers’ frontman Paul Shuttleworth and four other grizzled veterans who share his enduring passion for American country roots music, including Paul’s old Kursaals’ sidekick, pedal steel guitar ace Vic Collins.
Still TwentyFive In Your Head is the fifth album that the Ugly Guys have released since their formation in 2003 and it’s arguably their finest offering to date, blessed with a batch of effortlessly
tuneful gems led by Plains of Mexico, Rose Tattoo and Wind of Fate.