The Friends Of Rock-N-Roll - W.w.iii
I don’t know if the title of The Friends of Rock-N-Roll’s debut release is supposed to be political, but I sure hope not because W.W.III is one of the most un-political works I’ve yet heard. Which doesn’t automatically make it shallow. What makes
W.W.III shallow is the constant women-obsessed lyrics and sex-driven themes (i.e. “I Wanna Get Dirty With You”). Bad thing? By all means: no. Just don’t take a snapshot look at the title and expect some sort of Radiohead-esque political science lesson. Instead, expect a conglomerate of ‘60s pop-rock, ‘70s daze, and ‘80s singer/songwriter pop. Tracks like the two openers “Carrie Anne” and “Sandra” feature melodies and guitar work very similar to a less-tight Led Zeppelin. “Sandra” in particular takes a direct page from Jimmy Page (no pun intended) with its blistering guitar solo. The vocals however, especially in the bluesy “Poortland, Oregon,” sound much more like a slightly off-key Paul McCartney. The ultimate combination of this comes in “Bye, Bye”—a Doors-like organ instrumental underlying with a popsy, Beatles vocal topping. To add to it all, bits and pieces of even start to imitate an ‘80s Ron Stewart—dramatic and pop-friendly in a cheesy way. All of this should be expected I suppose, what with The Friends of Rock-N-Roll’s moniker. What better expression of your friendliness towards music than a collective sampling of the history of rock? Maybe doing that history justice—an achievement never quite reaches. Yet, with that jigsaw mess of influences and styles, its hard to imagine what could come out smelling like roses. The Friends of Rock-N-Roll may blossom into a pop-monster, but they have a long way to go first.
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