Wednesday, March 03, 2010

CD of the Day, 3/3/10: The Slingsby Hornets-Something Old...Something New...

The elusive Frank E. Slingsby has emerged from his undisclosed location to unleash another Slingsby Hornets disc upon the world. OK, there really isn't a Frank E. Slingsby, but there is a Jon Paul Allen and he's back with his third full-length in little over three years time. Lovers of glam-inflected power pop will want to be all over this one, as Allen once again mixes obscure covers and his own originals in a winning mix.

The choice of covers is interesting to say the least. The opening "Stoned Houses No.1/Elevator" is a Rollers remake, the new-wave influenced antecedent of the Bay City Rollers. It's a fun glam track that features those Tartan-sounding guitars. "Pinball" was a British Top 40 hit for Welsh singer Brian Protheroe in 1974, and here it's an interestingly moody midtempo number. Most of you are familiar with David Essex and his classic 70s hit "Rock On"; here, Allen covers his "Gonna Make You a Star", a #1 UK hit, and for American ears like mine that didn't catch the original its inclusion is welcome here, a lovely melodic tune that's not unlike Teenage Fanclub. (Plus he throws in the obligatory classic TV tune cover, here it's "Fight [The Flashing Blade]".)

Among the originals, "Gettin' Better" is of a piece with those 70s covers, a trippy track that has Noel Gallagher written all over it; "She's the One" is punchy power pop; and "Flower in the Rain" has the sound of a lost early 70s classic. Frankly, if you're not familiar with the covers, you couldn't tell the originals apart from them and that's a high compliment to Allen.

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