Too Sophisticated - The Art of Making Noise

The Hanoi Rocks legacy is, according to the majority of fans, an artefact as sacred as the ark of the covenant. While Messrs McCoy and Monroe continue to do the duck both on stage and in the studio, it is their golden age of glamour that provides the main body of influence for trashy rockers the underwater world over. It seems as if every other review that I write has a Hanoi comparison or soundalike..um...homage. Proof of a seminal act or the fenced-in influences of a million blinkered bands? Hopefully, the former. So, here it is - another review, another big Hanoi namecheck. This time though, it is by a band who appear to be on the...err....mature side of birthdays, so the claim that their "glam hard street rock'n'roll" sounds like "Hanoi Rocks meets Aerosmith meets The Stooges" seems to be musically, rather than aesthetically, based. Good.

Formed in Finland in the early 1990's, Too Sophisticated may have settled on a somewhat awkward band name but they have happily trumped that with the simple yet coolly effective CD title 'The Art Of Making Noise'. So, we get five tracks starting with the title cut, a 'Rockin' In The Free World' soundalike with a snotty garage punk chorus. Another song title better than the band name follows - 'Lonely Hollow Desert Echo' - a road movie of a song with vocals that hint at the late, great Ant of Gunfire Dance. 'Song Without A Message' begins with not so much a tip of the hat but a smash and grab in the direction of 'Something Else'. The Lydon-esque sneered vocals suggest that the coda is Pistols based rather than Cochrane. 'If I Could Fly' has spent some time under the night stars with Ron Yocom before being introduced to a little atmospheric keyboard action. Final track 'When Ever We're Together' features a simple, catchy chorus and a cheeky stadium crowd overdub, ending the disc in an upbeat fashion.

The Gaz E verdict? A CD the aural equivalent of a finger bang - a whiff of excitement yet not wholly satisfying. Worth a listen.

by Gaz E.

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