Fireworks

Michael Monroe - 'Horns And Halos' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/00/ed/8e/michael-monroe-horns-and-halos-21-1383424898.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 02, 2013    
 
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Unadulterated Michael Monroe, a party already in full flow and with no signs of stopping.

It is not hyperbole for Spinefarm to call Mr Monroe a "rock 'n' roll legend", subjective though it may be. For any of us who experienced the sweet disgust of Hanoi Rocks, dancing on the edge of disaster and pushing out beautiful Glam tunes with a hint of menace over several amazing discs (perm any from 'Oriental Beat', 'Two Steps From The Move' et al), those people are something special.

That Hanoi raised their narcotically nuanced carcass and released more almost-excellent recent discs is shocking enough, but MM's album of the year winner in 2011 was jaw dropping. Teaming up with Ginger Wildheart, whose band patterned the Rocks closely enough, 'Sensory Overdrive' was a bull rush through spiky and saccharine songs, real songs, a celebration of what HR could be now and MM could become. It couldn't last of course, Ginger left to pursue his extraordinary music and MM is left with ex-HR man Sammy Yaffa, gloriously low-slung Steve Conte and Dregan to help him meet our rising expectations.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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And he does. In one way. These eleven tracks race by, grabbing you by the hand and leaving you giggling, sweating and panting on the other side. There's no time to think, and certainly no time to wonder if the rush is all you get here. But when leadoff single 'Ballad Of The Lower East Side' lurches at you unsteadily, then pitches headfirst into your crotch, spilling elastic riffs and brazen bass-work everywhere, it ceases to be such an issue. Likewise the sax-augmented glorious chorus to '18 Angel' and rabble of a ballad 'Stained Glass Heart', situating itself in the bar and hammering on the piano, acknowledging the legacy Quireboys, Diamond Dogs and many others have mined. The title track too is a joy, rattling along with nary a breath on the sneering delivery, cool riffola and a love of what they do, particularly when they almost skank, but can't quite work out the moves. With this, we may be persuaded that 'Horns And Halos' is brilliant.

Monroe is a stupendously cheap Jagger, as usual, has energy to burn, as usual, and demands our participation, as he always has. The band are great. What are perhaps missing are tunes to resonate down the years. But what we wanted was unadulterated Michael Monroe, a party already in full flow and with no signs of stopping. We certainly get that.

And that might just be enough.

Steve Swift

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