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Black Star Furies: Vamps In Paradise

Having attempted, with some success, to cross genre boundaries on their Rest Of The City debut, Italy's Black Star Furies (who seemed to be called Black Starfuries before, but who can be sure?) are back, this time playing the part of Vamps In Paradise. Gone however is the grunge-sleaze crossover, a new straight up sleaze attack a lot less confused, if a little more expected. An obvious fixation with Van Halen suddenly shines through, as does a Cats In Boots dirty hip shake. Fronted by William Baxter (who I'm guessing is the same guy who used to be called William Dogboy, but who can be sure?), his rasping drawl sits somewhere between furious agitator and fucked if I care; a strangely Bob Mould like delivery from before, now nowhere in sight. Davy Vain and Michael Monroe are apparently Willie-boy's new pin-up stars, although he's not in the same league as either. While his lyrical fixation on sex acts really isn't handled with much sophistication.

A deep, grimy mix adds an intentional stench to the air, dank and claustrophobic as the guitars hum and buzz, the constant splash of high-hat and cymbals adding another layer to wade through. On the George Lynch inspired "Shirley" it clicks into place, a Dokken verse melded perfectly to the Mötley Crüe chorus, although it's a trick that fails on the slower whine of "Religion". Mr Tek O'Liax (no, I've no idea what that means either, I'm guessing it's he who was called simply, Mr. Teko before, but who can tell?) showcases his Eddie Van Halen worship on the bog standard guitar instrumental workout "1977". "Eruption" this is not, the sloppy wails and swoops more like a gentle burp.

Drummer Dr. 'Nok' Nikk (who lazily was called Dr. Nikk before, so we do know he's the same guy… we think) adds the necessary thump to "Piece Of Your Action" (not a Mötley cover) to hit its message home, while doing likewise for "Last Kiss" and "LA 1981", the latter recounting Sunset Strip glory days. Although not even his simple but effective beats can save "Relax" (yes, a Frankie Goes To Hollywood cover) from closing the album out with so much fluff, that you'll be picking it out of your bellybutton for weeks.

In the end it all makes for a mixed bag of utterly convincing, more than passable and thoroughly questionable. The good outweighs the bad, but with 14 tracks, you'd hope so. That said, if the needless guitar showcases and cover version were ditched, then we'd have a better starting place. As it is, Black Star Furies certainly seem to know what they want to sound like now, I'm just not convinced the end results are a huge step forward. That said, if sleaze is your thing, Vamps In Paradise is just about worth an hour or so of your time.

Track Listing
1. Vamp in Paradise
2. Piece of your Action
3. Shirley
4. 69
5. Doze
6. Last Kiss
7. L.A. 81
8. Falling Down
9. 1977
10. Religion
11. Liz
12. No Fear
13. Gaza Strip
14. Relax

Added: October 30th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Black Star Furies online
Hits: 1804
Language: english

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