With the finished album out this week we review and rate Beautiful Curse – a 12-track statement of intent from Spike and the boys ahead of a full UK headline tour this autumn.
Genre: Rock N Roll
Given the fact that the Quireboys last released a studio album of original material in 2008 it would be natural to assume Beautiful Curse was many painstaking years in the making. Think again.
The Quireboys are no Def Leppard when it comes to the potentially arduous writing and recording process – give these boys four weeks, a decent studio and an experienced producer and they’re good to go. Which is exactly what happened where Beautiful Curse is concerned.
The ideas for 12 trademark rock n roll anthems might have been kicking around in the back of various tour buses, backstage at numerous European festivals and on battered memory sticks uploaded on the run but finding time to finish them off was the biggest challenge facing a band almost constantly on the road.
Yet suddenly a window of opportunity presented itself earlier this year. And RUSHONROCK was granted exclusive access to the recording process as Beautiful Curse finally took shape in the home studio of Chris Tsangarides down in Dover.
Within a fortnight it was all done and dusted. And there’s a refreshing feel to an urgent album recorded ‘as live’ and with a deadline looming.
Beautiful Curse was finished off during the Quireboys’ critically acclaimed stint opening up for NWOBHM legends Saxon. And it shows. There were days when the band would head straight to the studio after a show the night before and lay down whatever came naturally. Tunes like standout Talk Of The Town (featuring a memorable Guerin/Griffin riff) and Homewreckers And Heartbreakers ooze off-the-cuff passion and endearing simplicity.
Of course there’s never been anything too complicated about a classic Quireboys tune. It’s just one charming facet of a fun-loving band.
Beautiful Curse sticks to a tried and tested formula perfectly honed over the past 25 years. Singalong anthems, comments on life’s loves and losses and bar room melodies that will be knocking around your head for weeks and months to come are the sturdy foundation for another stirring effort.
Opener Too Much Of A Good Thing and the glammed-up Mother Mary have been staples of the band’s live show for many months now – Tsangarides has toned down both but less bombastic doesn’t necessarily mean less effective. Each song takes on a new lease of life and allows a criminally underrated band the room to breathe.
But it’s not all vintage Quireboys. Chain Smokin’ is as cheap and cheerful as the title suggests and Don’t Fight It is disappointingly shallow where this well-drilled songwriting team is concerned. By contrast Twenty Seven Years ranks alongside Mona Lisa Smiled as one of the band’s finest compositions of the modern era and the title track could be the soundtrack to a checkered career.
For a decade now the Quireboys have confirmed their reputation as national treasures on the live circuit but the clamour for new music has been deafening. Beautiful Curse can be the bedrock for the band’s latest push to get back where they belong. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Beautiful Sounds