CD Reviews

Kieran Robertson - 'The Name Of Vanity'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 13, 2018    
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Most of this is pretty forgettable.

Impressively, Scotsman Kieran Robertson was only seventeen when he recorded his debut album 'In The Name Of Vanity'. Kudos is also due to whoever pointed this young lad in his musical direction, a Gothic-Industrial mix packed with a Mötley Crüe sneer... not necessarily what you'd expect from one so young. Robertson may not be the first to bring these influences together, yet his mix of accessible choruses and thick slabs of buzzing guitars certainly makes an impression. The fact that the boy can sing doesn't hurt either; his attempt at a Goth-atmospheric chunk of angst is a little rough around the edges, although that's maybe down to the enthusiasm of youth bursting through when a more mature voice might have known when to slink in the darkness to bring more effect.

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For all the formidable foundations lain down by towering guitars and pounding drums, however, there are a few aspects that youth maybe doesn't excuse. The attempt through 'Freak' to get all sexy and sassy as Robertson gets hot for a bad girl, hits, rather bizarrely, like a dirty old man's leering (not that that ever did a certain Gene Simmons any harm...). Although, when follow-up track 'Wizard' adds harsher vocal screams and a little Scottish-accented Rap, you know someone should have been reeling in the scene-chasing for a more focused attack. Purely pointing out what's less good isn't fair and 'Secret Lover' is a convincing Sisters Of Mercy meets Rammstein smash and grab while 'Addicted To This Life' is a booming statement of intent that's delivered in fine style.

It's hard not to take Kieran Robertson's age into account when you assess 'The Name Of Vanity', this debut effort is a million miles above simple bedroom dreams of stardom. And yet, when it boils down to it, most of this is pretty forgettable. Yes, there are bags and bags of promise here but there's also a lot of work still to be done.

Steven Reid

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