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Hercules: On The Radar

It wouldn’t take the deductive skills of Agatha Christie’s Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot to discover that Norway’s Hercules possibly have a few Status Quo albums hidden in their horde of records. For it only takes the introductory cascade of countrified guitars that open On The Radar to melt away into a boogie rock formation, for even the least observant of us to shout ‘Rossi and Parfitt!’ at the opening twelve bar bluesathon of “Where?”. That however doesn’t stop it from being rip snortingly good fun as it forces us back into our faded denims.

Singer Vemund Moss keeps things simple, a clear, clean-cut voice piercing the riffs with a real sense of melody, while the AC/DC like crunch of “Don’t Blow Your Fuse” also eventually wheedles its way into the Quo like quorum. If you’re getting the impression that originality is at a premium across On The Radar then you’d be pummelling that nail square and flat, because whether on “Trucks And Trouble” or the good time strut of “Fame”, the vibe remains resolutely stuck somewhere between Just Supposin’ Quo and the same band’s latter day revival. Challenging this is not. Excellent fun and expertly crafted it sure is.

The slower “Nothing For Nothing” does add a “Ride On” like AC/DC shuffle to proceedings and the occasional twin guitar joust between Moss and Tormod Haug momentarily takes things in a slightly different direction. While there are a few moments, especially with the excellent, unaggressive singing, that do swing towards a more melodic rock setting. Exceptions prove the rule however and for the large part there’s just no getting away from Hercules’s main inspiration. They do it well and ain’t pretending to be anything other than exactly what they are, but the question really has to be, do we actually need another Status Quo? The obvious answer to that question is no and yet in the end, On The Radar is a belting burst of boogie that bares up well to any of the other countless pretenders who have tried to follow in the Frantic Four’s wake.

Track Listing
1. Where?
2. Don't Blow Your Fuse
3. Billboard Beauty
4. Stuck Here
5. Trucks in Trouble
6. Something New
7. Roll or Rust
8. Nothing for Nothing
9. Fame
10. Refuse to Play the Blues
11. Gone
12. Lover's Block

Added: December 8th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Hercules online
Hits: 705
Language: english

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