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The Quireboys – Beautiful Curse

| 31 July 2013 | Reply

Off Yer Rocka Records
July 2013
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Quireboys - Beautiful Curse CD

An edited version of this review was originally published in X-Press Magazine’s 31 July 2013 issue – read it HERE

The Quireboys set the controls for the heart of The Stones on their seventh album stretched over almost 25 years.  Only singer Spike and guitarist Guy Griffin remain from the early days of the band, and newer recruits Paul Guerin (ex-Red Dogs), Keith Weir, David Boyce and Matt Goom continue to fly the flag of Sixties-influenced real rock n’ roll.

Spike’s rasping vocals have always reminded of an early Rockin’ Rod Stewart, and the band deliver every song with a Faces meets The Rolling Stones authenticity, augmented by the excellent production work of the mighty Dark Lord Chris Tsangarides, who captures the lightning in the bottle and leaves just enough dirt under the fingernails to keep things gritty.

Spike’s raw and melancholy delivery has always set The Quireboys far apart from the glam and stoner blues bands they were often lumped together with, and nowhere is that more evident than on slower tracks Talk Of The Town and Mother Mary.  The first, ostensibly a peacock-strut of a lyric, sees Spike sing with regret and a touch of contemplation, turning it on its head and leaving the listener wondering what really happened.  The latter is a lighter-held-aloft tear-jerker, emotive and benefitting greatly from Weir’s deft piano playing and a slow burning guitar solo.  It’s a wonderful song which everyone from Ian Hunter to Slash would be thrilled to have written.

Too Much Of A Good Thing has a remarkably similar feel to Doom & Gloom; Homewreckers & Heartbreakers could be lifted straight off Sticky Fingers, slide guitar and all; Diamonds & Dirty Stones references Mick & Keef’s Undercover Of The Night era; the title track has a Honky Tonk Women cowbell intro; For Crying Out Loud would have sat nicely on Exile On Main Street – but despite all the Stonesy references shoe-horned into Beautiful Curse, it’s testament to the chops of this under-appreciated band that they never sound any less than the band they’ve always been.

Last word goes to the slinky, soulful I Died Laughin’ which closes the album.  Whereas a song seemingly this simple could be ham fisted into blandness or parody by a lesser band, The Quireboys know just how to do it right, rendering it a spirited romp into ‘fuck you’ territory at the pointy end of a relationship.  This, my friends, is rock n’ roll.


Category: CD Reviews

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