You gotta have a lot of chutzpah to open an album sounding like Queen and end it as a timely tribute to Meat Loaf; But that’s Australia’s Neptune Power Federation for you…

The Meat Loaf thing is a bit of ‘luck’ rather than planning as this album was originally intended to emerge last year, but there’s no denying that as far as tributes go, We Beasts of The Night might well come to be seen as one of the best in years to come. Staying just the right side of parody, the track is a blazing slice of high-camp revelry, and really takes the album out in style as Screaming Loz Sutch and her band of merry men thunder away from earshot like, well… bats out of hell, really.

However it’s not all wine and roses for this album loosely based on the concept of love; After a lively start with opening track Weeping In The Morn and riffalicious follow up My Precious One, the album wobbles a little mid way via the clunky funk of Baby You’re Mine and Emmaline, which prompts shocking and very unwelcome memories of Wolfmother with it’s opening riff. Better to concentrate, I think, on the pumping alt.rock of Stay with Thee, a vivacious take on the Pixies‘ playbook that serves to showcase what a tremendously versatile voice Sutch has. She handles any style with power and ease, giving an MVP performance whatever this reviewer’s misgivings on the actual songs she’s singing. Not so much a secret weapon, as a shining beacon, it’s her performance that carries the day for NPF.

Spunky penultimate track Madly in Love is a nice mashup of punk and pop without, thank the maker, becoming punk pop, and it’s another reminder that, five albums in, these guys have become pretty adept at taking great names from the past and remaking them in their own image. That’s not an easy trick to pull off, but a couple of minor missteps aside, it’s a trick which forms the foundation of a very listenable album indeed. Hats off!

Le Demon De L’Amour releases on February 18th.