Screaming Tarts - The Album (Volume 3)

Various artists compilations are always a hit and miss affair and this is no exception. There are some real clunkers on here and one so bad that I can only hope for their sake that it was a really bad day. However, I'm pleased to report that this particular grab bag is heavily weighted towards the top end of the scale with a couple of tracks that left me wanting to hear significantly more.

With a title like Screaming Tarts, I was expecting this to be a pure glam style release but there are a variety of styles on here that stop this being boring. You never quite know what's coming next! There are so many good tracks on here that I want to mention nearly all of them but time and space means I must limit myself to just three.

"Microwave Man" by The Evangelists is a quirky angular tune, all rhythmic guitars, bouncy drumming and strangely reminiscent of someone but I just can't place who. I'm not convinced that I could listen to a full album of this stuff but it's definitely a refreshing change!

"Morrisey's Tongue" by The Visions is an ode to the great man himself with the odd sly poke at his accountancy skills (amongst other things) rewarding some careful listening. There's wry humour, strong melody and an insistent chorus that would appeal to a vast array of listeners. It's perfect prime time Radio 2 material and I mean that as a compliment. There's a huge demographic covered there and this could sit quite happily in the upper echelons of the chart. I only hope that this lot aren't a one trick pony.

Stand out track by a mile is "Bad Gurlz" by Renegade Playboys. I hit "repeat" so often on this that it's a wonder the button didn't get stuck. Take a large pinch of Bon Jovi, add some girly backing vocals, one or two tempo changes and mix with more swagger than is really healthy and you've got this monster of an arena rock anthem. Ok, so it's a bit sloppy in places and it's tempting to feel that the only thing missing is the kitchen sink, but this track begs to be played LOUD. If the band had been a little tighter and this was polished just a little more in the studio this would be a monster. The only real downside, the band seem to have recently split! Now that's a real crime as I'd have travelled miles to see this lot!

Most of the remaining tracks have plenty to offer and certainly warrant repeated listening. This CD has probably served its purpose as I've been prompted to seek out more by nearly all of the bands. Go seek out David R Black, Phluid and Devilish Presley. Oh hell, get yourself to URL and buy yourself a copy. It's only £6 and will encourage them to keep turning these things out, and not forgetting, you'll get to hear some exciting new bands.

by Phil T.

Visit the Screaming Tarts Website