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| 30 January 2014 | Reply

Platinum Blonde
24 January 2014
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Julian Angel's Beautiful Beast - Kick Down The Barricades CD

You’ve gotta hand it to Julian Angel – he knows what he likes, he does it well, and he hits the bullseye every time, consistently needing multiple CD pressings to cater for demand and easily recouping his investments. Simply from a business model perspective, he is the paragon of the music industry’s new age.

This is all well and good, but even the Biebers and One D’s of this world can sell shitty music. Angel’s head is firmly stuck in a 1989 mindset – it’s hair metal all the way, and refreshingly he makes no excuses or apologies for that.

With tongue sitting firmly in cheek, Angel rocks out on a succession of songs which in the hands of anyone less intelligent or talented, might sound clichéd or passé. That he makes it work on a level which never needs to descend to cheap humour a la Steel Panther, but keeps a wry smile on the face at all times, is testament to his nouse.

Kick Down the Barricades opens with lead single Bad Boys Never Dance, as great as anything from Bon Jovi or Poison’s hairy heydays, before going into the super-sweet stadium melodies of Big Stuff and Can’t Stand The Fiction – who ever said that Germans don’t get the English sense of humour or language?

It’s not all cock rockin’ fun and games – Angel is a minor master at delivering a power ballad, as evidenced on The Night Cries For You, played with a straight face and some fine guitar work. On that note, the major difference between previous album California Suntan and KDTB is the guitar sound – where on CS it’s buzzsaw-ness had a tendency to become a little irritating after a few listens, here it sounds pure and clean and is a joy to listen to.

It takes a real talent to sing ‘see that cutie with the booty’ (Unsexy), keeping their sense of humour intact but ensuring the song remains irony-free, and this is the key to understanding what Julian Angel does: Beautiful Beast is High Art, using hair metal and cock rock as it’s palette.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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