The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
HOUSTON RELAUNCH II REVIEW 2014

 

HOUSTON - RELAUNCH II

LIVEWIRE / CARGO RECORDS

SEPTEMBER 8 2014

FOR THE ORIGINALS

FOR SOME OF THE COVERS

 

 

Houston is a huge Rockpit favourite, bringing as they do a real freshness to the light Melodic Rock scene, they do however, judging by this LP, have a really variable taste in music: taking some covers of real Melodic classics and throwing them in with some really, really poor selections. Like on Relaunch though they are largely saved by the four tracks of new original material (the first since they released Houston II last year).

 

If you aren’t familiar with the ‘Relaunch’ concept - this LP is a mix of six covers and four new originals. The biggest talking point is though the cover song selections, which is a shame as the originals are of the same high quality as the tracks from ‘II’ released last year (more of these later).

 

My issue is with the covers, because let’s face it on face value a great song is a great song whatever the treatment and so on ‘Souls’ originally by Rick Springfield from my favourite ‘Living in Oz’ LP they can’t go wrong. Well perhaps they do play it a little too safe for my liking not really adding much to the dynamic on what was always a classic (and the B-Side of ‘Human Touch’ I do believe). Same goes for the John Farnham cover – ‘Justice for One’ that opens the album and ‘Love is Blind’ the 1981 classic AOR by John O’Banion:  both great songs, faithful covers, nice, but not particularly essential.   

 

Where the wheels fall of is that like quite a lot of performers in the Melodic field, Houston seem to hear a pop song with a strong melody from a modern artist and think that they can force it on us discerning rock fans.  Now for me that never works. Covering ABBA might be funny and have novelty value and that’s one thing (they don’t cover ABBA by the way I’m just making a point) but covering ‘One Republic’, ‘Florida Georgia Line’ and for me at least even ‘Lady Gaga’ is just unworthy, unnecessary and frankly a slap in the face for those that love their rock music.

 

Now to be blunt I find One Republic’s ‘Counting Stars’ to be one of the most annoying, derivative and soulless songs I have heard this side of the year 2000. Add to the fact it has been played to death on radio over the last year and I just want to destroy things every time I hear it The soulless, vacuous nature of modern pop is something we should be railing against not fucking embracing and to listen through it here almost made me physically sick.

 

Now add to that the faux-country soul-destroying capacity of ‘Cruise’ by Florida Georgia Line and you have examples of what I would consider two of the worst aspects of the homogenous nature of modern plastic, fast food, flavourless pop music. It’s like ingesting all of the calories but none of the goodness. Its people taking beautiful music and ripping the heart and soul out of it to leave some slimy ooze where real feeling used to be.

 

 As you can probably guess that I also hate Lady Gaga and everything she stands for, now don’t get me wrong I’ve nothing against modern music, just modern music that has no love, life or soul. ‘Do What You Want’ is a song I’d never heard before but it is quite possibly one of the worst songs I have ever heard in my entire life. So congratulations Houston for delivering me quite possibly the least enjoyable listening experience of the last five years of The Rockpit.

 

After all that it’s quite frankly hard for me to take listening to the originals here which are to Houston’s usual high quality. This album is kind of like walking out on a beautiful sunny day (the good covers) and being run (the shit covers) over by a doctor (the life-saving originals).

 

 

by Danger Dave Rockpit

 

HOUSTON RELAUNCH II REVIEW 2014