Album Review: The Quireboys – “Beautiful Curse”
The Quireboys are a rarity among the legions of late ’80s rock bands still doing the rounds nowadays in that while several of their one-time peers give the impression of having long since run out of ideas, Spike and co have continued to deliver the goods with a run of albums over the last ten years that can actually hold their own against the output from their supposed “glory years”.
So … following 2008’s storming “Homewreckers and Heartbreakers”, can they keep the run going? Well, I have to be honest and say my initial impressions on hearing opener and lead-off single “Too Much Of A Good Thing” weren’t promising – it isn’t a bad song but it does bear the appearance of being a bit “Quireboys by numbers”. And, given that there’s a lot of bands from this era who can churn out whole albums which sound like badly faded photocopies of their input of days gone by, it had me worried slightly.
Don’t worry though, it’s a false alarm – second track, the rugged “Chain Smokin'” is a good old fashioned QB’s rocker which would arguably have made a better taster for the album and the quality remains suitably high from hereon in with the regret-laced break up song “Talk Of The Town” being cut from similar cloth as the classic “Mona Lisa Smiled” from “Homewreckers…” while the bluesy slide guitar on “Homewreckers and Heartbreakers” (yup, the QB’s have done that old contrary trick of naming a song on this album after the title of one of their previous albums) will get your head nodding along nicely.
One thing that does become apparent about “Beautiful Curse” though is that the strongest songs on here are the ballads – while there’s plenty of merit in the likes of the fast-paced “Diamonds And Dirty Stones” and the countrified title track (similar to “Roses And Rings” off the QBs’ debut many years ago and that’s no bad thing trust me), it’s the soaring “Mother Mary” (which those of you who’ve seen the lads live in the last year or two will be familiar with already), the plainitive “Don’t Fight It” and the wistful closing duo of “27 Years” and “I Died Laughing” that are the ones one here that’ll catch your attention straight away. Clearly age is helping to turn Spike and co into torch song specialists and that’s no bad thing in my book.
All in all though, this is another very good album from the QB’s which could happily sit alongside “A Bit Of What You Fancy” and “Bittersweet And Twisted” in terms of quality. It almost goes without saying that this one comes heartily recommended from us.