Piledriver - 'Brothers In Boogie'

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Piledriver - 'Brothers In Boogie'

I'm quite happy with the real thing, 'Aquostic' or otherwise.

If the name Piledriver, the reference to "boogie", or the cover photo of two guitarists and a bass player, all with long hair, heads down and legs spread doesn't give you a clue, what we have here is a Status Quo tribute band with some twenty years of experience under their belts. This is their third album of original material, following on from the self-titled debut in 1997 and a sequel called 'Piles Of Rock' in 2004. While I'm unfamiliar with those recordings, I suspect this follows the same path.

Opener 'One Way To Rock' is not the Sammy Hagar classic but clearly a Quo-influenced effort, which is palatable enough for a Classic Rock and SQ fan like myself, but the lyrics are somewhat hackneyed and some of the touches are bordering close to plagarising SQ rather than tipping the hat. 'Together' is guilty of many of the same crimes, whereas the appallingly titled 'Rock In A Crossfire Hurricane' is actually a real standout, with a nice intro leading into a superb riff. The song also boasts a decent hook, before 'Good Times' takes us very much back to familiar territory.

The band's mission statement to continue the sound of the Frantic Four-era Quo would certainly appeal to a particular market but, for me, some of it sounds like they're trying too hard. It's when they allow themselves to break free from the well-worn template that they improve, such as on tracks 'Drifting Away' and the surprisingly gentle and uncharacteristic 'Last Words'. Other material suffers from banal lyrics and clichéd titles, such as 'Natural Born Rockers', 'Queen Obscene' and 'Lollipop Lolita'; these cuts did little for me.

Produced by Accept/UDO member Stefan Kaufman, the album sonically stands up well and there are moments which show promise, but the bulk of the album sounds too much like a tribute band trying to be their idols. There are many who miss the old SQ and Piledriver might help fill that void. But for me, I'm quite happy with the real thing, 'Aquostic' or otherwise.

James Gaden

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