Angel Air 2014
British fraction of the famous franchise refashion their classic catalogue to lay claim on the band’s legacy and give it a new punch.
Lately, Andy Scott’s stormtroopers have been in severe competition, not so much with American-based Steve Priest‘s version of SWEET – the Brits’ 2013-2014 tour proved they can stand their ground on both sides of the Pond – as with the group’s past. Current line-up may go from strength to strength but fans would still love the ’70s quartet, and today’s ensemble don’t make it easier by recording covers and playing classic LPs in their entirety when a new album is long overdue. More so, cutting afresh a string of familiar chart-biters and deservedly calling it “Hits” might lead to a lot of confusion, yet the genuine aficionado will cherish the small details which make this modernization somewhat special.
Having gone through the phase when glam was out of style before it got reappraised, it’s nice to hear the band return to their early innocence with the tight, twangy medley of “Co Co/Funny Funny/Poppa Joe” and the full-blown heavy glitter of “Wig Wam Bam” and “Little Willy” where Pete Lincoln packs bass and leads harmonies in a slightly different, from the original, way, adding weight to their confetti. And while there’s not much of an upgrade to “Fox On The Run” and “Teenage Rampage” that once again emulates psyched-up live dynamics, Scott’s acoustic strum gains a clear crunch on “The Six Teens” or “Blockbuster” to render its riffage sharper, and Tony O’Hora’s prominent piano lifts “Love Is Like Oxygen” higher than ever. By the same token, thanks not in the least to Bruce Bisland’s drumming, “Action” and “Ballroom Blitz” lose their lightness a little in favor of depth so beloved of metallers and punks who’ve been doing them for years.
To demonstrate equal energy to the younger ones, the band let rip in “Peppermint Twist” and it goes to show SWEET’s dedication to the rock ‘n’ roll case hasn’t diminish – it even got bigger now that all the strains of their patented stripes came together. The proof delivered, ain’t it time to come up with new goodies, lads?