RED DEVILS Slow To Fade (Self Drive Records SCAR LP1) ****½
THE WHITTERING twaddle of this summer's guitar-orientated rock revival left a pretty sickening taste. Load of crap really. And where do you end up? Big Country release something that sounds like it was recorded with thick wollen gloves on.
Paradoxically - or, in fact, rather pleasingly - Hull's very own Red Guitars have released a string of singles on their very own label. Not all masterpieces, but much closer than most.
When I saw them on the Whistle Test earlier in the year, I expected that they'd be 'kicking serious quantities of ass, Stateside' by now. But, no. And so...
Slow To Fade is a bit of a classic - quite a bit. And a grower, too, featuring songs with melodies, guitars, drums, bass and a singer who can sing. He doesn't sound like a dishwasher. Nothing here is overdone. No demanding concepts, no immature egotists, just great songs.
The Red Guitars, thankfully, aren't the Fixx and thus have avoided the first test of having a guitar in the band and aiming for melody. Secondly, they aren't Talk Talk because they haven't got any synths and they're not pretentious (now, that's important). That's only part of the make up, too.
Slow To Fade had a lot to live up to. I had trouble sleeping after hearing the magnificent Steeltown (not on the LP) but was a bit worried about Marimba Jive at first - it did grow. The LP is even easier though, twanging through verse and chorus on songs you can actually remember (whistling and singing in the bath optional).
I could list the tracks but what's the point? Just buy, hear, blag or steal this album. Your probation officer will forgive you.
Dave Henderson, SOUNDS, 10/11/1984.
Red Guitars: Slow To Fade (Self Drive).
Ambitiously recorded for their own record label, this is the first album from the Hull band who have notched up a series of successes on the independent singles chart during the year. Almost a soft-rock guitar band, and have (sic) a good guitarist in Hallan (sic) Lewis, who uses swirling African influences in the excellent Marimba Jive and Remote Control.
For the most part Slow To Fade is a cool, pleasant and intelligent album with a good line in lyrics, gently stirring percussive pieces, and only a few dreary tracks.
Robin Denselow, the GUARDIAN, 14/11/1984.
British withdrawal from Heraclion, Crete, 13th/23rd July 1909.