Review by Robert Baker
There aren’t many albums you could name off the top of your head that demand an immediate replay of one or all of the tracks the moment the last note rings out; Electric Punishment by the band Vicious Rumors is definiately one to add to that slim list of songstrels, but perhaps not for reasons you may rightfully expect.
Opening on the immodestly titled ‘I Am The Gun’ had me wondering where I’d put the receipt for my iPod, the thing clearly on the verge of justifying that extra insurance I lashed out on it by playing ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ off my playlist instead of the chosen song.
But no; a moment’s pause as I considered if I could claim it off the house insurance instead (and if so, what else would be having a trip down the stairs to BrokensVille), the intro ended and the song proper began, revealing that not only was my iPod still functioning properly but also that I should have waited before getting the Flat-Screen off the wall and pulling that muscle in my back.
Further into the album and now suitably prepared it seems Vicious Rumor have all the memorable riffs and engaging hooks the truly great bands are known for – and quite possibly with the receipts stacked neatly where they can find them, too.
Like The Darkness before them, Vicious Rumor will be the cause of many a discussion over legitimacy in the world of music and whether they are a ‘real’ band. But with The Darkness you feel you can indulge in the uncertainty, the band so gloriously outlandish and wholly British in their laudings as to be a guilty secret to enjoy. Vicious Rumor follow a similar – albeit metal – path, but one littered with other people’s riffs and not nearly as much engagement of the listener.
Halfway through Electric Punishment and ‘Dime Store Prophet’ shows Vicious Rumor have have been eating their Iron Maiden branded Eddie-O’s cereal*, but by the time ‘Strange Ways’ closes the album it seems they’ve used up all the metal-infused nutritional energy of their earlier repast, the Kiss song reduced to a karaoke cover you can at least join in on without being the worst singer in the room.
A fun album with huge nods verging on head-butts and theft to the greats that have gone before Electric Punishment won’t be the most original album you’ll buy this year, but if you’re prepared to go with it and grow out that mullet then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be re-organising your cd collection so Vicious Rumors have a bit if shelf space for themselves.
*One of your Two-Devil-Horns-A-Day and part of a well-balanced musical diet.
7 out of 10
- I am the Gun
- Black X List
- Electric Punishment
- D Block
- Escape (From Hell)
- Dimestore Prophet
- Together We Unite
- Thirst for a Kill
- Strange Ways