Proper Records PRPCD104
Now this is more like it. Ian's new album is a welcome return to form. The good news is this album is chock full of rockers. The bad news is... well, there isn't any. In the fullness of time this album could well turn out to be his best in many years.
The run of good albums that started with Rant and continued with Shrunken Heads continues here. Guitars are to the full, with strong solos from both James Mastro and Mark Bosch. Ian's singing is strong without ever sounding strained and the rhythm section is as tight as a duck's whatsit.
What helps of course is that the songs are top-notch. Comfortable (Flyin' Scotsman) sets the tone, being a powerful full-paced rocker with guitars and subtle use of saxes. The title track is also strong, a mid-paced rocker with a repeated keyboard refrain reminiscent of The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again.
What For is another rocker with strong guitars and piano reminiscent of early Mott The Hoople. Ian hasn't rocked like this for years, and it sounds like he's having fun. Black Tears is slower but powerful and moody with a guitar solo that reminds me of the much-missed Mick Ronson. Saint is another up-tempo rocker, this time it reminds me at times of Twisted Steel. Wild Bunch meanwhile is a rocker that reminds me of The Faces.
There are so many good songs on this album it is hard to pick out highlights. What's interesting is that this album is credited to Ian Hunter And The Rant Band. This is much more of a band album than most of Ian's recent albums, and it is much the better for it.
What more can I say? It's brilliant... 'nuff said,