Picks and Pans Review: This Island
There was a time when rock music was almost exclusively a men's club. There was a handful of successful female singers, such as Janis Joplin or Grace Slick, but the line was still drawn at banging away on the drums or slashing at the guitar. Pioneers like Suzi Quatro broke down those barriers, but hardly anyone would have imagined how far the pendulum would swing by the '80s. Today girls in the band are almost de rigueur. Take Euro-gliders, an Australian sextet originally from Perth, now based in Sydney. They feature Grace Knight, an expatriate Brit, on vocals and tenor sax and Amanda Vincent on keyboards and bass synthesizer. Their first American album is a hit-and-miss effort. Given the album's 12 songs, the law of averages alone suggests they wouldn't hit the mark consistently. Their high-tech sound takes a few vapid and uninspired turns on This Island. On some cuts, though, their techno-pop is honed to a razor's edge, especially when the emphasis is on the pop. Heaven, driven by Knight's glassy vocals, and No Action are spirited and danceable. Someone sounds like Fleetwood Mac 10 years after, especially since the voice of Bernie Lynch (who wrote all the songs) is eerily like Lindsey Buckingham's on this cut. Someone, with its trenchant riff, is a track any self-respecting band would lie, steal and cheat to claim as its own. This new Aussie band may be erratic, but it clearly has potential. (Columbia)
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