Monday, September 17, 2007

Review: Underground Rebels - Insult to Injury

Label: self-released

Released: 2007

The Underground Rebels have a decent hard rock pedigree featuring former Faster Pussycat guitarist Brent Muscat and former Cult drummer Lez Warner, but the band is really the creative (or not so creative) child of singer/guitarist Kurt Frohlich. Those expecting the swagger of Faster Pussycat or gritty hard rock of Electric-era Cult, beware, because this album won't measure up to those expectations.

It actually starts off well enough, delivering good energy and at least some catchiness even if it isn't breaking any new ground. Unfortunately for the glam fans who might be drawn to this, the better of the two actually sounds more like pop punk than hair metal. Over the course of the album, there are a few tracks that repeat the semi-success of the first two, but most of the album gets bogged down in being bland and generic, borrowing from the likes of Def Leppard, Billy Squier and even Godsmack (yikes!). Toward the end they try to capture a bit of Stonesy swagger, but end up sounding even weaker than the Stones themselves these days. The Underground Rebels also offer a pair of covers, "Tainted Love" and "War Pigs." The former comes out okay, but largely due to the fun inherent in the song, not due to any compelling elements of their version. Their "War Pigs" cover is the real disaster though. If you're going to cover Black Sabbath, either make it heavy (like most bands) or make it different (like the Cardigans' excellent cover of "Iron Man"). They do neither, offering up instead what might as well be the elevator version. It's sad.

The Underground Rebels try to create their sound be bringing together the most generic elements of popular music and the result is fairly amateur. They (or Frohlich at least) don't seem to be in a good place as artists. They're trying to make a record that sells based on what has sold in the past rather than gambling on what may sell in the future or being true to an artistic vision. The result is an album that would have some appeal and perhaps a little more novelty value for glam fans, but little for the rest of us.

Rating: 4/10



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Blogger Metal Mark said...

At least the cover is kind of cool.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Hard Rock Hideout said...

I liked this one a little bit more than you, but was disappointed. This first song I heard had a lot of promise. I didn't care for the lackluster cover tunes.

Still, this is better than the last Faster Pussycat CD.

10:22 AM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

With all due respect, the dump I took this morning was better than the last Faster Pussycat album.

11:10 AM  

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