A lot of Hoodoo, but not much Voodoo…
Allan Jones was actually listening on the 27 January 2017 when this came out, but has been very distracted this week…
To say that Chrome Molly have been around the houses a bit is something of an understatement. Hearkening from Leicester, they’ve been circling since 1982. Aside from splitting up in 1991, that is, and reforming in 2009. Weirdly, they apparently had a stint as a Van Halen tribute act somewhere along the line. For a band who opened for Alice Cooper at one point, that seems like a weird turn to me.
Still, they’ve returned, and with an album that they’re officially claiming as their 6th studio release. Sadly, not being at all familiar with their back catalogue, I’m not sure whether this is an improvement or not. On this showing, I’m not going to be in any kind of rush to find out, either.
The production is muddy, meaning that it’s a little flat and lifeless at times. The mix is also not quite right, either – whether this is an intentional way to remind us of the poor quality production standards back at their inception is an open question. To me, though, it makes it harder to listen to the album.
And it’s a shame, because there’s some great songwriting and guitar work on here. There’s a range of stuff from old-school 70s style classic rock to 80’s heavy metal guitar riffing and NWOBHM dynamics and some slightly lighter work as well (such as ‘Now That Those Days Have Gone’) that really does speak to the talent and ability throughout the band. There’s also a bunch of trite silliness in places that somewhat detracts from the overall effect.
If I had to sum it up, I’d say that it’s a lot of Hoodoo, but not much Voodoo. There’s no real bite to it, and it feels like wallowing in the past than trying to use that to bring something new to the table. Now, sometimes that’s just what you need, and I suspect some of the older rockers who weren’t in short pants at the time might get a lot more out of it, but overall I’d rather have something a bit more pointed and sharp.
6 out of 10
- In the Beginning
- Can’t be Afraid of the Dark
- Some Kind of Voodoo
- Pillars of Creation (Albion)
- Now That Those Days Have Gone
- Save Me
- Rock for You
- Feeling Pressurised
- Dial ‘F’ for Freakshow