Soho Roses - Whatever Happened To... The Complete Works of

Just when you thought that the world had been taken over by floppy haired young men shouting their anger and misery over a staccato guitar riff, here stumbling out of the mists of the past come the Soho Roses, bottle in hand, to remind us all that once upon a time it wasn't like this.

As the title says - this is the full set - the Third and Final Insult LP, the Whatever Happened To EP, the So Alone Single and three 2006 remixes. Yes, if you're going to do it like this, you'll get a few repeats. The completists will love it, and the rest of us get to hear how some songs became a little more polished along the way, so everyone's a winner.

This CD has come as a bit of a surprise to me. Having bought the LP when it came out I got the impression that the Soho Roses had been around a while and that the LP was merely a last hurrah before splitting up. I guess it was to some extent but hearing it again after so many years brings back lots of happy memories as well as regrets that I never got to see them live.

There's something quintessentially British here. The Soho Roses were glam in the scruffy, charity shop kind of way and not the seemingly more studied hair to the heavens, lipstick gloss way that so many Americans went for. Production values were clearly influenced by budget with the LP still sounding solid and the other tracks still sounding a little fuzzy and muted. The 2006 remixes do a good job of cleaning some of the numbers up but there's only so much that technology can do!

So what do they sound like? Take a dash of Hanoi Rocks, a little smidge of the Dogs D'Amour and one huge helping of solid pop song writing savvy. Many of these songs will have wormed their way into your memory before you even know it. There's a nice mix of uptempo rockers and ballads and nestled amongst them is a cover of the Buzzcocks "What Do I Get?" which doesn't sound out of place at all. They'll win no prizes for musicianship and you're unlikely to hear any of this on the radio but if you missed them first time around, (and even if you didn't) then this is an essential purchase. It's the perfect soundtrack for a night out with your mates and healthy amounts of alcohol.

Now stop reading this and go buy the damn thing!

5 out of 5

by Phil T.

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