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Melodic Rock Round-up: January 2012

Album Review

Dave Ling on new releases from Vain, Beggars & Thieves, Paradise Inc, Alfonzetti and Dirty Passion

Vain: Enough Rope

Until now, Vain had appeared doomed to remain among a group of bands responsible for releasing cult debut albums, before fading away into obscurity. Although several low-key releases followed as the San Franciscans slid in and out of existence, 22 years later they’ve finally made a record fit to be spoken of in the same breath as No Respect. Enough Rope struts, preens and sashays just as you will remember the band back in the day, replicating their sleazy, libido-charged sound in the most amazing way possible. Sure, Davy Vain’s voice remains a point of conjecture. Some will hate and others will detest, but it’s pointless to deny its recognisable strains. Produced brilliantly by Davy, Triple X, Enough Rope and Worship perpetuate the group’s obsession with matters below the waist, and if you think they sound immediate on first hearing then just wait till you’ve spun them three or four times. Yes indeed, Vain’s newie is a mere gnat’s testicle away from matching No Respect – and that’s something this scribe never thought he’d have cause to write. (9/10)

Beggars & Thieves: We Are The Brokenhearted

Re-energised by their spot at 2010’s Firefest, Beggars & Thieves claim to have set the bar higher than usual, aiming for a statement akin to Dark Side Of The Moon or The Joshua Tree. They didn’t quite achieve it (how could they?) but by golly We Are The Brokenhearted is a superb record, crammed with addictive songs and some first-rate musicianship. (9/10)

Paradise Inc: Time

The debut from Brazil’s Paradise Inc features an impressive backstage cast, with Paul Logue of Eden’s Curse acting as co-producer, with the in-demand Dennis Ward handling mastering duties and Allessandro Del Vecchio contributing keys throughout. Doogie White also stops by to sing Not In Paradise. It’s a respectable enough introductory statement, but nothing out of the ordinary. (6/10)

Alfonzetti: Here Comes The Night

Though he had a far longer history, Stockholm-raised Matti Alfonzetti first came to the attention of UK rock fans in the 1990s with Jagged Edge, and is currently a member of Red White & Blues with guitarist Myke Gray. His voice has lost none of its bluesy power or persuasiveness, and Here Comes The Night is a reassuringly engaging melodic rock record. (8/10)

Dirty Passion: Different Tomorrow

Dirty Passion could only have been of Swedish origin. Emil Ekbladh’s voice is a dead spit for Joey Tempest, and their music has a slightly glammy edge that harbours third generation Sunset Strip aspirations. The quality of 1,000,000 Voices and Different Tomorrow confirms that had this album been released a decade or two earlier, they may well have been in with a shout. (7/10)

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