By The Answer
This is the sort of record that it really should be very easy to dismiss as hapless retro-copyism. Ulster rockers The Answer don't so much wear their influences on their sleeve as practically have them branded on to their foreheads. Within the first two songs, even the most cloth-eared music fan will have spotted riffs and vocals quite obviously half-inched off Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zep and pretty much every other rock megalith of the early '70s. Right place, just thirty years too late, right?
Wrong. Very wrong. Despite such obvious semi-plagiarism this is actually a damn fine record. Unlike other bands desperately in thrall to the past who just produce tedious over-muso'd monochrome copies of their influences (Ocean Colour Scene, Coldplay, post-"Morning Glory" Oasis), The Answer have clearly realised that they're gonna be sitting ducks for criticism unless they pack this record with the sort of edge-of-your-seat energy to make you sit up and take notice. And they've undeniably managed this. The choruses on songs like "Come Follow Me" and "Never Too Late" practically invite Wembley to sing along with them, the guitarists have the same sort of effortlessly cocky showmanship that made Izzy and Slash gods in the ascendant all those years ago and has been so sadly lacking in the post-grunge wilderness. Turns out The Darkness were a false alarm after all then. This is damn fine old-skool rock 'n' roll with no need for pastiches or cocked eyebrows, just packed heart full of soul and effort. Quite simply, this group could just be the next Britrock megastars in the making. Keep an eye on them.