This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by Facelift. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2001.
Having spent four years of my life in Bradford, I still never worked it out as to why this curry capital of the north has managed to take it's place as the 'must have' of any self respecting Rock bands tour dates. Maybe the toughening action on the vocal chords from all those late night Vindaloos means you can only sing in a certain style.
We can only assume Facelift are from Bradford as their chosen venue for the production of this 2-song CD was the reputable sour faced Voltage Studios located in the centre of the fair city. Not only this but their sound has all the hallmarks of a group of musicians who have spent many a cider fuelled evening on the sweaty dance floors of Rio's.
Now don't get me wrong I hadn't stage dived to any conclusions before I played this CD, but just in case, I had the volume cranked up and my fingers poised on my air guitar as I hit the play button. For the first minute of track 1, "Been a long time" I wasn't disappointed. The Led Zep'esque riff which kicks the song off got me ready for the crunch, but after the second minute I was still waiting and by the time I got to third verse I kind of got the impression it wasn't going to happen. On a second play I begun to realise that the bit I'd thought was the bridge was actually the chorus and fundamentally the song was lacking that all important hook. I 'd use the word disappointing because it is obvious Facelift have a hat-full of ideas and some very effective ones, but maybe they were not in the right order.
Track 2, "On the ropes again" still has me puzzled even as I write this. As I mentioned Facelift are not short of ideas and so why is it I wondered do they spend the first two minutes of this track wrestling with twee rock-balladry and then switch the song around in to the best part of this whole demo. The second half of this song nicely thumps along and shows all the original promise of the first minute of "Been a long time". It is a real mystery.
A quick mention to the vocalist who's voice I liked a lot and indeed the whole bands playing which shows their obvious talents. With a little improvement to their lyrics and some stronger direction in their song writing and structuring, I would definitely like to hear more from Facelift, but for the minute it's back to Rio's fellas.