Black Star Furies - 'Vamp In Paradise'

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Black Star Furies - 'Vamp In Paradise'

So much of the album sounded the same and so much of it lacked any character or colour.

Black Star Furies is an Italian trio who play "large, concrete, Sleaze Rock". Their sound could, I suppose, be described as "concrete" in that in places it tends to fall a little flat and heavy.

'Vamp In Paradise' opens promisingly with churning, revving guitars, but the vocals of William Baxter quickly let it down, dragging the music down to something static. It quickly appears that the music lacks the balls of Sleaze. 'Shirley' and '69' have some interesting energy and minor notes and the pace definitely lifts the music. Both, however, lack the lyrical subtleties of other Glam bands on the coarser subjects and don't use fun or light-heartedness as a way to counteract this.

'Doze', 'Last Kiss', 'LA 81' and 'Filing Down' all suffer from too much repetition and musical monotony. '1977' is a mid-album solo track where I kept hearing Van Halen's 'Ain't Talkin' About Love' at the beginning of every cycle. Still nothing fantastic here and this continues with 'Religion' which is a bit of a gruelling ballad. At times it seems like the vocals mimic Steve Summers (Pretty Boy Floyd) but without his panache or light touch. 'Liz' goes on in the same heavy-handed manner, with the musical textures seeming to grind together rather than glide effortlessly like a well-oiled track should. Likewise, 'Gaza Strip' is clunky and fractured while the roughed up cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Relax' is unexpected, but a little tame and devoid of the original's energy.

In terms of technicality it's not a bad album, the performances are solid and the production clean and pretty balanced. However, it's the lack of creativity and personality that got to me. So much of the album sounded the same and so much of it lacked any character or colour. Sadly "concrete" seems a much more apt description than originally hoped.

Sophie Brownlee

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