[% title = 'Quatermass II' %]
|Nick Simper||bass guitar/vocals|
|Bart Foley||lead vocals|
|Gary Davis||lead guitar/vocals|
In a year when we're going to be blessed with albums by Deep Purple, Richie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Steve Morse, maybe Jon Lord and almost certainly Glenn Hughes as the premier league players and then a score of reissues and on top a bunch of albums from spinoffs of the spinoffs, do we really need another album by a couple of Purple-related musicians?
Mick Underwood and Nick Simper got together at the RPM records Christmas party in 1995 and started recording some tracks with Bernie Torme and an old friend vocalist, Pete Taylor. Two demos later despite some good songs, the project hadn't really gelled. Torme, for whatever reason didn't want to participate any more so Gary Davis was brought in. Finally Pete Taylor went to record with Torme and was replaced by Bart Foley, another stalwart of the West London rock scene.
Finally the project has come together.
The album, aptly titled "Long Road" features eight rock-solid compositions with Underwood and Simper's fat rocking rhythm section backing Davis' excellent guitar work. Foley's slightly gravely vocals top it perfectly.
Here's the tragedy - there's nothing in this album to offend. There's nothing to challenge the listener. It's all beautifully executed and produced; the slow numbers like "River" and "Woman in Love" descend with aplomb, guitar and vocals soaring above moody bass and drums; the pacier numbers zip along above a thumping rhythm section. But where are the songs that make you go "What the F*** was that?", or simply "Huh?".
If I start offering suggestions, I feel like it's a damn cheek. But if these guys want to take this project somewhere, and for the most excellent Gary Davis' sake I hope so, then they need to rediscover an edge, a theatre-rousing energy that moves a band from competence into vibrancy and inspiration. So, clubs soon then some festivals this summer please.
If that's all right by you.
When I played the album for the first time - at max volume - I jumped up
shouting out "What the bl..dy h.ll" is this? Well this was the song 'River'
a wonderful piece of music. And if that was not enough there are some more
gems on the album like the rocking Coming home, Daylight robbery with the
sing-a-long chorus and there's very good guitar playing in every
song. Everybody who loves guitar dominated albums with good rocking songs
must go and get this one.
Hans van der Meiden.
Hans van der Meiden is starting a Dutch DP 'zine Real Soon Now. - Ed.