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Love Crushed Velvet

Love Crushed Velvet

Review by Mark Johnson

A.L.X., who plays keyboards, piano, acoustic and electric guitar, percussion and sings all vocals is joined on this debut album with Thommy Price, (Billy Idol, Joan Jett), on drums and percussion; Jimi Bones (Blondie), on acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, vocals and percussion; and a cast of many female vocalists and other players.

If you like Billy Idol’s music you will find a lot of common ground here. They sound like a New York mixed punk/glam rock band with influences from both Idol and the UK’s punk scene. This almost sounds like a Billy Idol re-incarnation without Idol himself. If you weren’t into it then, it may be too late now. But maybe there’s a new audience out there, who missed the first time round. If you can make it through the first five tracks, the album gets better, as the band seems to gain more confidence in their own sound.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Letter

“Letter” almost sounds like Billy Idol meets some of the Cult’s Love era tracks. It is full of power electric guitar, drums, keys, bass and great female backing vocals. This is one of those “living on the edge” type songs from the ‘90s.

Goodbye Goldblatt

Here is another ‘90s throwback sound with a nasty look at today’s self-absorption and lust for material possessions, set to nice keyboard melodies and heavy guitar and bass. It features good female backing vocals with Billy Idol sounding male vocals. They add some Springsteen–like keys for nice effect.

Love Crushed Velvet

The title song is one of the best tracks on the album. That guitar riff will take you right back to “White Wedding,” because it sounds so similar. A.L.X. even sounds a little like Billy Idol on this one. “My illusion keeps me holding on.” Well, if it works for you, go for it. But this is no “White Wedding.” The guitar solos and the drums are good, but this won’t bring back the ‘80s.

Famous

“Famous” opens with some cool guitar and drum work giving this track an original sound which the previous numbers have lacked. The thought keeps coming to me that this album might have done so well in the ‘80s or ‘90s, but today, it just sounds dated. It’s a song about the excesses of living large. “Putting on my make-up I wanna be famous.”

Problem Child

This one brings back more of that Billy Idol sound. It’s a good rocker from the 1980s brought forward to the next century. “I like to put my troubles on the front page.” Yeah, today’s celebs behaving badly, brings back images of the ‘80s again.

Burning Embers

“Burning Embers” opens with cool guitar riffs and makes me want to give the album a chance, with that piano providing more to the sound. The female backing vocals will keep you interested. This is the second best track on the disc.

Puttin’ on a Weapon

Here is another good track on the album full of cool keyboard sounds with drums supporting. The guitars, string sounds and bass are also very good.

Willie B

This is a solid ballad full of multi instrumentation including electric and acoustic guitar, keys, cello and drums. “Summertime livin’ on the outside.”  This has more of those Springsteen–like keys.

Bright Summer

“Bright Summer” is the best track on the album. It features great electric and acoustic guitar soloing with fantastic female backing vocals.

Heatwave

This opens with cool bass and drums and A.L.X. on vocals.

 
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