There’s been a fair swell of talk about Inglorious in underground rock circles, with phrases like ‘next big thing’ being bandied about with careless abandon. My interest was piqued, certainly, as there can’t be enough good-quality blues based rock emerging, ever, for my taste. But I approached this album with caution, for fear that the hype surrounding Inglorious might take a bit of lustre off of the finished product.
The problem is, people are so desperate to stumble across that ‘next big thing’ they’ll often anoint a new set of kings without thinking things through properly, often leaving the band in question with no chance of survival under such onerous expectations and fans left feeling bitter at being duped again. Inglorious, whilst certainly not being the lemons I feared they’d be, certainly aren’t the new messiahs of the classic rock scene either. Yet.
The truth lies, as ever, somewhere in the middle. The band certainly have their moments, with the likes of Warning and Bleed for You certainly showcasing the potential Inglorious undoubtedly has. On these two tracks everything clicks, from the excellent vocals of Nathan James, through some nice guitar work from Wil Taylor and Andreas Zäta Eriksson to the rock solid backroom rhythm work of Colin Parkinson (bass) and drummer Phil Beaver, everything sounds as you’d want it to, with no pretension or flab anywhere to be seen. Likewise the more commercial Girl Got a Gun works well, the band concentrating on simply delivering a good song well.
However at times they do have a propensity to overdo things, especially vocalist James who occasionally oversings and obliterates everything around him – You’re Mine being an example on this album of such a state of affairs. This isn’t a bad problem to have – the bloke obviously has fearful good pipes – but occasionally, even in the flamboyant world of classic rock, less is more, and as the band move forward I’d certainly appreciate a more restrained approach at times. The acoustic ballad Wake showcases just what a voice James has without any of the bombast, and it’s a wonderful thing to hear.
But what do I know? The band continues to garner more fans by the day doing just what they’re doing, and with the likes of David Coverdale and Whitesnake now clearly on the wane there’s clearly about to be a big gap in the market for 1987-styled mayhem about to open up; there’s no reason why Inglorious shouldn’t fill that gap, especially if they can come up with more material as good as this album’s exuberant title track.
Inglorious is out now on Frontiers Music