REVIEW: Glampire - "Drop Dead Gorgeous"

By J 'Hirez' H-R

Chain Border

GlampireI tried hard to like this. Really I did. Things start well enough with Madchester-baggy-shuffle beat and a guitar sound not unlike someone carelessly throttling a brass cat, but the tune reminds me of the Levellers and that dreadfully earnest 'wouldn't the world be better if we all sat down and knitted our own yogurt together?' attitude goes down about as well as a Babycham in a biker bar hereabouts.

It's downhill from there. The second track has some splendidly eighties brass stabs - think Animotion or Go West - which I care for, and the whole reminds me strongly of Material. Though I suspect that Bill Laswell would call the police if I mentioned as much in his hearing. But by now the game is up and this record's (CD's, album's, whatever) true core is revealed:

It wants to be the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in a goth fright-wig.

Which probably makes some kind of warped sense from the inside of a Vast Recording Conglomerate, but is likely a questionable move from where I'm sitting. I have a healthy dislike for the RHCPs, not only for their (sock on) cock-rock antics, or indeed just because their preppie/frat-scum fans were about the last people on the planet I'd willingly mix with, but because they just Weren't Very Good. Fishbone were doing much the same thing at the same sort of time and were funkier than a funky thing that had just stepped off the express bus from Funkytown. Then there was Tackhead who defined politically-aware dub-metal-industrial-funk.

But we were considering Glampire, rather than railing against the mistakes of history.

Further into the recording, we find that proceedings have thankfully become rather less polished, though there's still too much airbrushed jazzy guitar-noodling - if you've just thrashed out some handfuls of crunchy guitar, keep the damn distortion screwed down rather than going for the button marked 'fey.' Not that there's anything wrong with noodly-jazz, but it's best when seriously unhinged, rather than just being 'a bit wacky' so as not to scare off those rooted in 4/4 time.

As we spiral toward the close, things do become rowdier - as if the band were desperate to get to the pub for last shout and just banged the last few tracks out in a bit of a temper. But since Glampire would seem to be one chap slaving over a home studio, that can't be the case. Strange.

Conclusion - If there's a subgenre called 'beard-stroking jazz-funk with shouty-guitar bits for people who aren't sure about this goth thing and don't want to offend their friends' then this recording fits in well. Personally, I shall be digging out my Squarepusher, Material and Tackhead records when I get home.

Buy The Album
Buy Drop Dead Gorgeous

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