Radio Stars' final album is more of the same as the debut, although the band stepped away somewhat from that album's hyper-punk sound.
Rather, this is a reversion to mainstream rock, along with fake blues with "(I've Got Dem Old) Sex in Chains Blues (Again Mama)", a nod towards cock/rock on "Rock 'n' Roll for the Time Being", plus synthesizers along with plenty of opportunities for guitarist Ian Macleod to spit out riffs.
A lot of these songs feel padded out though, either through repetition as on "Boy Meets Girl", else unnecessary Macleod soloing as is the case with "Baffin Island". Plus, tracks like an undistinguished power/pop version of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" are red flags.
And although Gordon's humor is still going strong, it's not as good as before, witness "Sitting in the Rain" - a send-up of sad-sack rock songs - "Baffin Island" is the most prominent dud. Still, when the repetition or bad humor are kept in check, the band shows that it could still make entertaining punk/pop songs such as "Radio Stars", "The Real Me", and even "Boy Meets Girl" (were it cut in half).
Then there's stuff antithetical to the fake-Pistols songs of the debut album, such as "It's All Over", a slower song whose highlight is some serious saxophone work from guest Chris Gent.
All in all, Radio Stars were competent fellow-travelers to the punk / New Wave scene, typically employing a kind of inoffensive irony similar to that of The Kinks. And had they continued they might've found similar levels of success, but their history was a mess of drummers, Gordon left, and so they just spluttered on for a few more years.Rated:
by Reviewer: Obscurity
(blogging at Obscurity!
)7th December 2017