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Sweet: New York Connection

Sweet were one of the most successful glam/hard rock bands of the '70s, but numerous break-ups, reunions, and deaths has resulted in a pretty crazy career for the British group. Here in 2012, there are actually two incarnations of the band, one led by original bassist Steve Priest, and the other by guitarist Andy Scott. Both outfits perform regularly but in different geographic territories, and recently also have released brand new CDs. New York Connection, from Andy Scott's Sweet, is a studio release of all cover tunes, as the band tackle songs that are all over the map but the end result is a pretty fun listen.

Joining Scott in his version of Sweet are Pete Lincoln (lead vocals & bass guitar), Tony O'Hora (guitar, keyboards & vocals) and Bruce Bisland (drums & vocals). The only Sweet original here is "New York Connection", which longtime fans will remember as the B-side to their single "Wig Wam Bam", the rest being their kicked up versions of some interesting songs. "New York Groove" , the Russ Ballard song that of course was made famous by KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, is given a rousing rendition here (look out as well for Alicia Keys' "Streets of New York" wrapped in the middle), and The Who's "Join Together" is quite rocking and loads of fun. "Because The Night", a killer song written by Bruce Springsteen but originally given to Patty Smith, is another highlight, and features a great lead vocal from O'Hora plus plenty of energy from the band. The title track is one of the heavier pieces on the CD, with some crunchy guitar work from Scott and powerful vocals courtesy of Lincoln, and The Yardbirds classic "Shapes of Things" actually has a nice '60s feel to it, as the band did a great job of honing in on that psychedelic style. A real surprise is a near heavy metal take on the Dead or Alive '80s new wave/pop/disco hit "You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)" , easily one of the most successful covers here. Scott takes over the lead vocal slot on The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane", and again, the band take this classic New York rock song into heavy territory.

Of course there are a few that somewhat miss the mark, like the 'always infantile no matter who sings it' "Blitzkrieg Bop" from The Ramones, a leaden take on "On Broadway", close but no cigar version of "Gold on The Ceilings" from the Black Keys, and a borderline generic "It's All Moving Faster", a song from Electric Frankenstein (though it features some blistering lead guitar). None are bad mind you, as the band perform them very well, but they just don't seem to measure up to the high standard of the rest of the album. All in all though, New York Connection is a very enjoyable covers collection from Sweet, and really, when was the last time you could say that you really had fun with a covers album? Here's hoping Andy Scott's version of the band continue on and possibly put together some new tunes or even a live album of classic Sweet songs at some point in the future.

Track Listing
1. New York Groove
2. Gold On The Ceiling
3. All Moving Faster
4. New York Connection
5. Shapes Of Things
6. You Spin Me Round
7. Because The Night
8. Sweet Jane
9. Blitzkrieg Bop
10. On Broadway
11. Join Together

Added: May 8th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4130
Language: english

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