Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Review: Soho Roses - Whatever Happened To...

Label: Full Breach Kicks

Released: August 21, 2007

Here in the US, when most people think of glam, they think of Sunset Strip scene of the late 80s where hairspray had more to do with a band's success than their music. Little known to so many on this side of the Atlantic, there was another glam scene across the ocean that ran concurrently. With Hanoi Rocks as its kings, bands like Dogs D'Amour and (London) Quireboys were only known by a handful of rocks fans over here. These bands weren't just a bunch of pop bands with big hair and over-indulgent guitar solos. They were rooted in real glam like T Rex, Sweet and Slade as well as the punk rock of the New York Dolls, the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks. Many of these bands did just fine for themselves in the UK and Europe, but failed to make a dent over here. One of these bands, Soho Roses, was an almost complete unknown in the US, much like their highly influential predecessor Slade was during glam's first wave.

During a short run in the late 80s, Soho Roses recorded two EPs (a 7" and a 12") and one LP, all of which are obviously out of print. Almost 20 years later, the material is finally being re-issued. Don't be put off by the glam tag if you associate it with LA, because Soho Roses' music is dirtier and grittier. As they say themselves, it isn't "Sunset Strip crap." While the subject matter isn't exactly rocket science, the music is played with true rock n roll swagger rather than silly staged theatrics. Their cover of the Buzzcocks' "What Do I Get" shows that they were, as glam truly was, more at home with punk than metal. While they aren't the caliber of Hanoi Rocks, they're at very least in the ballpark of Dogs D'Amour. They're a fine treat for anyone who prefers a little bit of real rock n roll over the corporate business rock that put on some lipstick and eyeliner over here in the 80s and they're downright essential for fans of real glam.

Rating: 7/10



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Blogger Metal Mark said...

I like this one a lot. Usually when a band claims they sound like Hanoi Rocks, it usually tunes out that they sound more like LA stuff. These guys did sound like Hanoi Rocks, New York Dolls and a few early punk bands.

10:50 AM  
Blogger rock_of_ages said...

In fact we never even thought of Dogs D'Amour and Quireboys as Glam (at least I didn't!) They were just rock bands doing the same rounds as the likes of Jagged Edge, Shy, Gun, Thunder, Little Angels et al. Quireboys for instance were always likened to The Faces. Dogs D'Amour, a bunch of sleazy drunks with a growling poet as a frontman!

That said, the stuff Hanoi did was good enough and anything rooted in the 70s Glam scene is worth checking out - I'll keep my eyes and ears open for this one.

5:44 PM  
Blogger rock_of_ages said...

I've remember this morning who I thought of as the UK "Glam" bands at the time... Tigertailz, St Jaimz and Wrathchild UK - all hair, make up and bubble-gum rock.

Anyway, enough from me and my youthful reminiscences.

5:26 AM  

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