London Daze

Spiders & Snakes

Deadline Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Hello again, Peabrain here. With me is my boy, Herman.

Herman, set the Farback Machine for 1984. The place? Hollywood, California - the scene of the rebirth of glam rock in the form of heavy metal hair bands. Okay, push the button to launch the machine...

Wait a minute, something's wrong here... something's very wrong. I know we're in California, but this seems to be more like 2000. Herman, you nitwit, you crossed the wires of the Farback Machine with the flight schedule for United Airlines. What have I told you about surfing the Net on company time?

All I know at this point is I'm hearing this band, Spiders & Snakes, and I'm wondering if they got caught up in the electronic jumble that landed us here instead of the mid-'80s. Even a copy of their latest disc, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 London Daze, has mysteriously appeared in the on-deck CD player, and I'm wondering how such a relic could ever survive in the early days of the 21st Century.

I mean, just look at the band - vocalist/lead guitarist Lizzie Grey, rhythm guitarist Doug E. Sex, bassist/samples Leigh Lawson and drummer/backing vocalist Timothy Jay. They're wearing sneers like I haven't seen since Guns N' Roses burst onto the scene. Musically, though, they're much weaker than their image suggests.

Don't understand, Herman? Go to the CD player, and select track number three, "Party In Hollywood". Or maybe you'll understand when the next track, "Radio Stars," blares forth in its ignominy. This is a band who are most definitely trapped in a time warp, from the songwriting down to the actual performance of the tracks. The slip-shod attitude of recording these is apparent - far more so than I think the band intended it to be.

And if the '80s flashback isn't enough, take a closer listen to some of these songs, and hear the pure '70s glam influence on this band. London Daze absolutely reeks of this, from their covers of "Run, Run, Run" and "Rock And Roll Queen" to the New York Dolls-like delivery of "Elvis's TV" - good grief! What were these guys thinking?

They even dig back in the band's own history to their first demos as "London" (hence the album's title), featuring a young musician named Nikki Sixx. (We all know what he would later move on to as a musician.) These songs are pretty decent - that is, except for the sound quality. My god, it sounds like this tape was kept in the cat's litter box for 20 years.

What's sad is that London Daze probably could have been a halfway decent album, had some real attention been paid to the songwriting and the actual performances. Instead, all I'm hearing is a band who is more interested in having a good time recording than making an album that is structurally solid. Sadly, this is a disc that, like many spiders, deserves to be squashed... and with that, let's set the Farback Machine to take us home.

Rating: D

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Deadline Records, and is used for informational purposes only.