Glam rock parties with the Specials before Madness gatecrash the party
Narco can write a dark, sinister tune or two, there's no denying that. It would just help if they didn't sound like a cross between the Specials, T-Rex, and Madness. Given that they're motto is 'Set the amps up, play, record it, and if it sounds like anyone else, scrap it', originality is rather lacking. Half the album is rather good, it's just a shame about the other half.
Bypassing first track 'Hey You' (think sub-Iggy that two minutes too long, and you've got the right idea), I'll start at 'Worth It' as the first decent song. This is the sort of tune that should be played in a dark and dingy club, with its sleazy, cool guitars and seductive beats that'll have you dancing involuntarily. The rhythm section is one that T-Rex would've been proud of, funky as you like.
Which is why the next track, 'Une Kilo de Stilo', is a bit of a disappointment. Like the first track, it seems as if Narco are trying to recreate the seventies glam rock vibe - it's boring whilst the Scouse sounding vocals are really starting to annoy me. The only thing that saves it is the great riff right at the end. This is all followed by a song of two halves, 'Young Man Vs the 747'. The beat is filthy, and the guitar hits with you with a bang. The vocals are cool, and on the chorus add a punky feel to a straight out rock 'n' rollercoaster. Before we know it, though, that's all replaced by a laid back beat, and mazy keyboard. It doesn't last before we're returned to the filthy rock, and the dancing begins again.
'Blackmailer' is a jaunt to the East End via Madness (minus the sax), and is bloody funky. It's not exactly short, but it seems to be over before you know it. There is a superb riff, and it's frantic, rock which is actually growing on me the more I listen to it. The band continues the Madness vibe, mixing The Specials in there with a frantic but laidback feel. It's pretty chaotic, never resting for a second but it isn't as good as 'Blackmailer'.
One of the other decent songs on 'Control of the Stereo' is 'Soliders don't Sleep', filthy like 'Young Man...', with an added touch of anger, it rocks like a bitch. It grabs you by the scruff of the neck, and propels you to the dancefloor. And I think there's a lot of people who can relate to the line 'all I want to do is get some sleep'.
This is a real grower, this album. It requires patience, lots of listening and you just find yourself humming the tunes on your way to work one morning. It may not be the most original album ever but it ain't half bad either.