Many moons ago, I had the dubious pleasure of earning myself the nickname of "Zaphod", due in large to my ability to keep my hair short at the sides whilst retaining the weekend warrior length at the back.
So with that in mind, you may be wondering why the hell I'm mentioning this from the off in this review? Well "Zaphod Beeblebrox" also had the rather unique talent of being in possession of two heads, and boy do I need that talent right now for reviewing this second album from UK gobshites "Towers Of London".
If you can take "Fizzy
Pop" on its merits then it is a fine set of UK guitar pop songs with immediately
catchy stuff like "Go Sister Go and "Time Is Running Out" fitting
in nicely with glam stompers like "1984 (Nanny Nation) and "Start
The Rupt" (the only Snell/Rev era track left in this set). But when you
are listening to the band that launched itself "alien style" into
the nations music and media psyche you cannot help but feel that the songs here
are nowhere near as essential as say "Air Guitar" or "Beaujolais".
However much "Donny and Dirk" will tell you differently, "Blood Sweat and Towers" still contains the best opening quartet of songs on any debut album this side of "Appetite for Destruction" or "Never Mind the Bollocks" and it is to their credit that this fantastic legacy sits menacingly over the sublimely catchy tunes that make up "Fizzy Pop".
The twelve tracks on offer within "Fizzy Pop" are certainly a strong testament to the brothers Brannan and "Tommy De'ath's" staying power, and in album standout track "Time Is Running Out" they have the best "Generation Terrorist" song the Manics never wrote. Throughout the tracks all manage to draw you in a cheap tacky thrill sort of way, but this time around "Bishop's Gate" is more "Squeeze" than "Sham 69" and (the frankly horrendous) "Beach Bar" more "Terrorvision" than "Guns N Roses".
So the "Zaphod" head that loves powerpop would say "this is a vitally fresh burst of pop energy from a band needing to step away from faux celebrity and reinvent itself creatively". Whilst the "Zaphod" head that loves "Blood Sweat and Towers" would say this is a "poorly written and produced follow up to the classic debut that pisses on the legacy of a once great band". Although as a footnote this "Zaphod" head was extremely encouraged by the superb B side "Hollywood" that recently emerged as the flipside to Naked On the Dance Floor". So hopes are high for a gallant return to form soon for the full new line up.
I guess the main question though is does "Fizzy Pop" dick on the Sex Pistols? Well, definitely not on this showing. But does "Fizzy Pop" dick on Oasis? Well, Yeah Definitely Maybe.
4 ½ out of 5 or 2
out of 5 (depending on whichever "Zaphod" head you want to listen
by Johnny H.
Visit the Towers of London Website