sabato 23 gennaio 2010

Gene "Revelations"

Ci sono dischi che fin dalla copertina si intuisce che saranno brutti. Ecco, questo è uno. Dopo splendide copertine i Gene piazzano queta oscenità, e già la cosa mi preoccupava. Per non parlare poi di Martin con quei capelli!! Il singolo apripista non era poi così male, un bel pezzo pimpante e melodico con un testo bello tosto, ma l'attesa fu totalmente disillusa. L'inizio della fine, possiamo chiamarlo così questo album. Giunti al terzo album i Gene perdono in qualità e intensità, ma in modo verticale purtroppo. Certo, non siamo alle vette di decadenza dell'ultimo lavoro "Libertine", ma rispetto ai due precedenti lavori, beh, si rimane esterefatti di fronte a tanta povertà. E' come se fosse una collezioni di c-sides. Melodie sbiadite, tentativi disperati di innovazione (Fill Her Up e il suo coro da "cosacchi" mi fa rabbrividire solo al pensiero), idee poche e mummificate. Forse ci si concentra troppo su testi dal sapore politico, ma le melodie latitano drammaticamente. Per fortuna non tutto è disastrato, basti pensare alla magnifica You'll Never Walk Again che chiude in modo commovente ed epico il disco, pezzo in crescendo che può tranquillamente essere avvicinato ai momenti migliori del gruppo, ma è 1 episodio singolo, non supportato dal resto del lavoro. Fu davvero un gran dispiacere per me. (1998 Polydor)

By the release of Gene's third album in 1999, the popularity of the Brit-pop wave had all but dried up. Many of the band's peers had already headed off on a one way ticket to the great beyond, and Gene were generally considered to be the next victims. It really didn't help that the band's record company had recently gone through a buy-out, and the label were now in the process of sheding acts left and right.
Thusly, after spending a lot of time and money on Gene's sophomore album 'Drawn To The Deep End' with very little financial return, the label only gave the band a paltry four weeks to record the following LP 'Revelations'... And if that wasn't enough of a burden alone, Gene also decided to completely change their image and musical style.
The huge quiffs were shaved off, the grandad suits were swapped for Burberry polo shirts and the emotive, understated music of yore was thrown out for a set of rough and ready pop songs. It was a gauling and confusing time for the band's loyal fans, with the change seemingly supporting everything that Gene had once stood against (perhaps in order to rebell against the constant tag of being a Morrissey clone).... And then there was the disapointment of the album itself.
But perhaps we're getting off on the wrong foot here, because 'Revelations' isn't a total train wreck. In fact, it contains some of Gene's greatest ever songs. Big ballad 'Angel' demonstated that beneath all the bravado, the band still had a soft side, whilst the stomping autopilot glide of 'Something In The water' was a pleasent hark back to the early years. The power-pop guitars of 'Mayday' also provided something of a mild thrill.
And then there was the album's highlight in the form of the epic closing track 'You'll Never Walk Again'. Building up from tinkling piano, the track accumulates layer after layer until the whole thing finally erupts in a fountain of distorted guitar and fist-in-the-air anthemnics. It's a wonderful moment, and amoung the band's best.
But these tracks sit side-by-side with some of the band's worst. 'The Looker' is a slab of hookless guitars and clumsy lyrical odes to prostitutes(!). 'Little Child' has a lovely lyric about parenting, but is framed by an over-cluttered acoustic rock backing that murders the whole thing.... Talking about murder, what's with the lyrics of 'The Police Will Never Find You', with once fey-softie Martin Rossiter growling "Here's a note and a forcast / Because you hurt me too much / Those kneecaps look tender / Is a hammer enough?"...? This being from the same man who once crooned "I'll wait for the day / When you creep through the window and hold me / Smash into my life and just hold me / Don't let me go." GOOD LORD! The remainder of the tracks on the LP range from quite good ('Fill Her Up', 'In Love With Love') to completely mediocre ('Love Won't Work', 'As Good As It Gets').
In the end 'Revelations' turned out to be a mildly entertaining pop album that was nowhere near as good as the band's previous work. And was, both at the time and still to this day, a huge disapointment. But at least they got the whole 'hardman' thing out of their systems and moved on...
Although it didn't help them much, because the label still dropped them shortly afterward. (Tokyochuchu -

ON GENE'S fourth album, the self-pitying swoons no longer dominate, as they did when the band trod too reverently in The Smiths' footsteps. Instead, Martin Rossiter and co have discovered political commitment, just as the New Labour administration appear to have lost theirs.
With sentiments such as "The greedy live off you and me/ This is the code, we can't break history" and "Strike first, the rich must be deprived", Revelations is probably the most overtly Marxist album released in the past four or five years - though the music is, sadly, rather less revolutionary, sticking firmly to the band's narrow indie purview. Still, tracks such as "As Good as it Gets" and "Mayday" accurately evoke the sullen disillusion of a land betrayed "when red became blue".
Gene's is a more positive move than most of their peers have managed in the face of indie decline, though the new "hard man" Rossiter, as evidenced on the last tracks ("The Police will Never find You" and "You'll Never Walk Again"), is less convincing. All that nonsense about Stanley knives just sounds so Morrissey, to be honest. (Andy Gill -

- As Good As It Gets
- In Love With Love
- Love Won't Work
- The British Disease
- Fill Her Up
- Something In The Water
- Mayday
- Angel
- The Looker
- Little Child
- Stop
- The Police Will Never Find You
- You'll Never Walk Again


2 commenti:

  1. Mamma mia Gene!!! Una delle mie band preferite di sempre! Rischiai anche, con il mio gruppo di allora, di aprire alcune loro date italiane, poi non se ne fece nulla per problemi tecnici. Martin apprezzò tantissimo il nostro demo. Grazie per aver dato visibilità ad una delle band (insieme agli Strangelove) più colpevolmente sottovalutate della scena british dell'epoca.

  2. Grazie mille.
    Comunque adesso sono curioso pure io sul tuo demo.
    Contattami pure in privato sulla mail dai!!
    Ciao. Ricky