‘Dirty’, ’rabble-rousing’, ‘bar-room’, ‘throaty’, ’Stones-esque’ and ‘gritty’…
Released by Off Yer Rocka Recordings on 3 September 2018 and reviewed by Ian Savage
The Quireboys, in common with other great white sharks of rock like AC/DC and Iron Maiden, have never really had to evolve. They hit on a winning formula first time, and barring a few lineup changes and a smidge of acoustic-based experimentation, they’ve been mining the same old-school rock ’n’ roll vein for nearly thirty years now.
There should be some kind of bingo for reviews of their prolific output over the last five years – with the group having seemingly found some much-need stability under the umbrella of Off Ya Rocka Records (recording almost as much material with them as they managed in their previous 25 years in the game), adjectives like ‘dirty’, ’rabble-rousing’, ‘bar-room’, ‘throaty’, ’Stones-esque’ and ‘gritty’ are bound to pop up again. Stop me if you see them.
Sure, they’ve experimented a little over the last couple of records, but Spike’s distinctive vocals are always going to be front and centre of the glorious rock ’n’ roll racket that this band create, and the flashback of a ten-year anniversary reissue really only serves to show how little the status quo (pun intended) has shifted.
Nor would we want it to. Twin-guitar-weaving honky-tonk-piano-infused opener ‘I Love This Dirty Town’ is still the epitome of what The Quireboys are about – a uniquely British take on American rock, forgoing the elongated jam-outs of The Black Crowes or Gov’t Mule in favour of a more hard-hitting four-minute song structure.
They get a little self-indulgent in one or two places (‘Blackwater’, ‘Lite Night Saturday Call’) but for the most part ‘Homewreakers and Heartbreakers’ is still the kind of emotional ride you’d expect from the UK’s foremost gritty (oops) bar-room (oops) rabble-rousers (triple-oops). Ups, downs, songs for boozy nights and hungover lonely mornings…that’s what they do, don’t expect anything more, or anything less.
Ah fuck, there’s extras, because it’s a reissue. There’s five live versions of tracks you probably already have, if you’re a fan; if you’re not, they’ll hopefully persuade you to buy the album they’re from to see how they’re supposed to sound (or for two of them, rewind to the studio version you heard half an hour ago). Please just make the effort to go see the band live instead.
- I Love This Dirty Town
- Mona Lisa Smiled
- Fear Within The Lie
- One For The Road
- Late Nite Saturday Call
- Hall Of Shame
- Take A Look At Yourself
- Homewreakers & Heartbreakers (live)
- Mona Lisa Smiled (live)
- Mother Mary (live)
- I Love This Dirty Town (live)