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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Status Quo

The Frantic Four's Final Fling - Live at Dublin 02 Arena

Review by Gary Hill

Some bands create songs that are distinctive and unique. Some acts make music that’s complex and genre shattering. You really can’t say either of those things about Status Quo. Their brand of bluesy rock is nothing overly original or creative. Yet, it’s very effective. These guys rock. This live concert disc caught this reunion gig and found the band in fine working order. It’s highly recommended for long time fans. It would also make a great addition to the group. It should be noted that the track list on the CD cover is wrong. It could be that the copy I have is an early advance copy and that it will be fixed on the final version. Either way, once you figure it out, it’s not that big a deal.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc: 1
Junior’s Wailing
Nothing fancy, this is just a straight ahead, old school rocker. It’s classy stuff.
Backwater
This is a pretty typical blues rock number. The mid-track instrumental section, though, is more of 1960s psychedelic rocker.
Just Take Me

Starting with drums, this feels almost like a continuation of the previous cut. It’s another standard type of bluesy rocker. The guitar solo on this is quite meaty.

Is There A Better Way

A more ferocious rocker, this is part proto-metal, part punk and all straightforward rock.

In My Chair

A shuffling blues number, this is heavy and classic in sound. The CD cover lists this as “Blue Eyed Lady,” but it’s not.

Blue Eyed Lady

 This is the other reversed track in the track list, swapped with “In My Chair.” Another pretty straightforward, by the numbers rocker, this has some catchy vocal hooks. The guitar solo is particularly noteworthy, too.

Little Lady
This really feels like a Chuck Berry tune to me. It’s got a lot of energy and a classic sound. Sometimes it makes me think a bit of Thin Lizzy. There is a mellower segment mid-song.
Most of the Time

Starting with a ballad-like section, this gives way to a bluesy power rocker later. Eventually it works back to that mellower segment and the crowd sings for a while.

Rain

As this pounds in it really feels a lot like ZZ Top. It drops back to a crowd-singing section in the middle. Then a guitar solo screams out in style. It works back out to the song proper from there.

(April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays
There are definitely some cool guitar riffs. Some of the vocal hooks are exceptional, too. Although this is still drawn from the same kind of bluesy hard rock, it transcends those origins and gets into some intriguing territory. Still, it manages to groove.
Railroad

Here we get another solid slab of blues rock. The mellower section with harmonica is a great touch. That gives way to a standard blues jam. We get deposited back into the main section of the song from there. More harmonica shows up later in a powered up instrumental section.

Disc: 2
Oh Baby
There is definitely a proto metal feeling to this. Still, the other end of it is a rather Roy Orbison like sound. This is a killer rocker that works really well. It’s one of my favorite tunes of the whole set. The jam later in the track is particularly metallic and meaty.
Forty-Five Hundred Times
Coming in with a mellower movement, the audience takes part of the vocals on this introduction section. The cut powers out to another straightforward blues rocking jam.
Gotta Go Home

This hard rocker makes me think of UFO just a little. It’s a pretty furious number. It’s a short one.

Big Fat Mama

Another raw rocker with some definite metal in the mix, this is quite a strong one. There’s a mellower jam later that takes it into neo-classical territory. Then it fires up to a metallic version of the same classical riff. It works back out to the song proper from there.

Down Down
There is a little guitar section at the start that gives way to audience chanting. Then they power out into a fast paced jam that’s not that far removed from something AC/DC might do. They stop after the two minute mark and crowd chanting takes over. Then they come back into the song proper from there.
Roadhouse Blues
This is a screaming hot version of the Doors tune. It has some great harmonica work in the mix. This includes a drop back for a blues jam with an audience chanting section. Eventually they take this back out into the song proper to take it the rest of the way.
Caroline

Another straightforward rock and roller, this is a fun one. It’s one of the more effective pieces here and has some tasteful guitar soloing.

Bye Bye Johnny

Speaking of Chuck Berry, this is an extension of “Johnny B. Goode.” This gets some pretty serious jamming built into it and has a short drum solo, too.

 

 
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