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The London Quireboys This Is Rock 'N' Roll

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Thursday, February 14, 2002 @ 1:08 PM


(Sanctuary)

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The London Quireboys came out right around the same time as Dogs D'Amour, Raging Slab, Dirty Strangers, The Black Crowes, Burning Tree and the rest of the late-'80s/early-'90s post Guns N' Roses wave of bluesy hard rock bands around the globe. The band was all the rave in the UK where they were heralded as the second coming of the Faces and the Stones, but were quickly overshadowed by the Crowes' rise to fame. Despite having a (very) minor hit with the struttin' single "7 O'Clock," putting on a terrific live show and generally being a pretty damn good band all around, they just couldn't live up to the hype and after their sophomore album, which was never even released in the States, the band packed it up and called it a day. Lead singer Spike has been kicking around Hollywood, where the band relocated in their heyday, ever since in various jam bands and still looks and sounds every bit the Rod Stewart clone that he is, but never really seemed to find the right musicians to click with. At one point he cut a collaboration album with fellow drunken blues-rock poet Tyla from the Dogs D'Amour, but alas, no platinum albums or Spin Magazine covers, just underground cred and a loyal cult following of glam-tinged gawkers.

Now in 2002, The London Quireboys (as they were known in the States 'cause in the UK it's just The Quireboys) are back in action with almost all original members and an 13 song album of swaggering whiskey biscuits that rock, roll and weep in all the right places, though is unlikely to set the charts on fire. Lead by the gravel-throated whiskey-soaked voice of Spike and the rock steady bass of Nigel Mogg (as in UFO’s Phil Mogg), the Quireboys wear their influences on their sleeves Stones, Faces, more Stones and even more Faces. And in this day and age, it's a welcome sound. This album actually was released last year in Europe and Canada, but never in the States. Well, Stateside Quireboys fans rejoice, now the time has come!!!

This Is Rock 'N' Roll covers every nuance of the blues-rock palate, the boozy rockers, the soulful ballads, the boogie piano, the twin Keef/Ronnie guitar attack, the Hammond organ swells, and so on. From the ass-shakin' title track (a dead ringer for just about any Crowes tune) to the badass barroom groove of "Show Me What You Got" (another Crowes sound alike), to the Chuck Berry balls of "C'mon," and the white reggae of "Coldharbour Lane," this is, in fact, rock 'n' roll -- exactly the way Websters should define it. No big thought provoking themes, no rock opera shtick, no metallic overtones, just foot stompin', butt wigglin' rock the way the classics played it. They don't exactly take any chances, but who cares, it's only rock 'n' roll. This ain't alternative, baby! And it's not like the Stones or Aerosmith in they glory days were ever really original, they just delivered the goods, drink a six-pack or two and went home. 'Nuff said.

My only real complaints would be that there are too many ballads and that Spike's voice does get a little grating at times. I mean, this guy gives the term gritty a new meaning, it gets almost painful at times. But you can't blame him for trying to carry on the torch. Shit, I'll take a second rate Rod Stewart or Jagger over a third rate Fred Durst ANY day.

Nice one, blokes. The next pint is on me…

***


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