London Daze Album Review


First off, the cast of Spiders & Snakes is not pretty, and should take it easy with the sleeve pics. Inside, the track titles give away the disc vibe, as cheap, tricked-out "Radio Stars" wind-up "Nonstop Rock" for the life-threatening pitch of "Party in Hollywood." Whatever decade these four dudes (look like a who-knows-what) live in, they're having nothing but a good time here. Led by unsung Hollywood hero Lizzie Grey, Spiders & Snakes weave and coil through "2000 Rock & Roll" like the last decade never happened (although the stark 90's production makes these festivities shrill; a little late 70's tubular tuning would shoot these fireworks higher into the night). The new version of the old scene, "Public Enemy #1" becomes an outrageous fete rather than a cautionary outlaw parable. The "take it all for yourself" dig at the end could be directed at Nikki Sixx, as Spiders and Snakes grand pooh-bah Grey co-authored the cut with Sixx back in the early 80's while comprising the band London (hence the album title). A Spirit-ed run through "Run, Run, Run" and the hot Mott stuff of "Rock and Roll Queen (you know what I mean)" avoids the mid-album ruts (Nigel Benjamin replaced the irreplaceable Ian Hunter in Mott the Hoople and was also a member of London). Never thought I'd say this, but the full-frontal rock assault gets a bit monochromatic. Nobody wants any ballads, but London Daze could benefit from a little shading.

These cartoonish cats are having a blast and want you to too, a rare and welcome stance in present times. The next record may be brilliant (this is the fifth!), but I doubt it. Spiders and Snakes shakes things up, but must be past its prime and, like Hanoi Rocks, is a band caught in the wrong time. So who cares? Get out the heels, the hair-spray and self-destruct with London Daze. The wonderfully limited vision of Spiders & Snakes incorporates all that matters: TV, radio and rock & roll. Luckily the band doesn't know when to stop. The tacked-on '80 London demo is significant, surprisingly stacking up no-less than three mellow chill-pills that almost make me bite my tongue for the above ballad dis: "Nobody Loves You Like I Do" is a quality pop song. "Straight from the Heart" bleeds alright considering, and "Dream Girl" is a glam-slam triumph that deserves a complete make-over.

-STONE, Cheap Trash NYC
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