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Rhino's Revenge - 'II' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/df/c4/f3/rhinos-revenge-ii-9-1449605136.jpg Hot

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It's sure to appeal to Quo fans but you can extend that to anybody else who likes no-frills music, interspersed with intelligent and witty lyrics.

A veteran of the music scene, with stints working for the likes of Judie Tzuke, Kim Wilde and Dexy's Midnight Runners, John 'Rhino' Edwards is best known as the bassist for Rock legends Status Quo, a position he has held in the band since 1986. Not content with his bass duties, he has contributed songs to Quo records steadily since joining, with some of his most notable co-writes including 'The Oriental', and some of the bands most memorable Rockers from recent years, like 'Two Way Traffic' and 'Beginning Of The End.'

His backing vocals have fleshed out Quo's sound considerably as evidenced on the 'Bula Quo!' soundtrack and he has sung lead on 'In Search Of The Fourth Chord's song 'Bad News'. Rhino's Revenge is an outlet that sees him continue to handle bass, but also all the lead vocals, plus some guitar work, flanked by his son Freddie Edwards, himself an increasingly in demand guitar player who was seen playing on Francis Rossi's live tour and with Quo on the 'Acoustic' shows. The rest of the band also keeps it in the family, with Rhino's other son Max Edwards handling the drums and daughter Elly Mae on backing vocals, while Matthew Richard Starritt adds guitar and trumpet to proceedings.

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Issuing the first Rhino's Revenge record in 2000, Quo's busy touring and album schedule has seen to it that fifteen years have passed before a follow-up could be made. The music here will certainly please most Rockers, with 'Tomorrow Is Today' kicking things off with a heavy bass line and loud chorus. John Edwards' excellent lyrics are a big feature, with his satirical take on society's obsession with celebrities via the brilliant 'Famous' being a real standout. 'All The Girls Love A Bastard' is acerbic and amusing, while 'Secretary' has some excellent puns and innuendoes woven in amongst the 'Immigrant Song'-like riff. There's some real Quo foot tapping with the nod to older ladies, 'Cougar', and especially on the pounding 'One Note Blues'. 'My Name Is Stan' has a real energy and paints an amusing picture of life as a dog, and the choice of single 'Black Widows' Rocks hard and heavy.

The twelve tracks on offer showcase the group's passion and musicianship, as they recorded it old-school, all together, without computers or studio trickery. John Edwards handles the vocals with ease and while there is the odd exception like the Funk-tinged 'Powerplay', the bulk of material here is good, old fashioned Classic Rock.

It's sure to appeal to Quo fans but you can extend that to anybody else who likes no-frills music, interspersed with intelligent and witty lyrics. Well worth a listen!

James Gaden

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