13th Floor Renegades –  Last Great Dreamers (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

iuLast Great Dreamers make a glorious racket and no mistake. Then again they always did. Back in the day, the day in this case being the early nineties, they were part of that glam-punk, sleazy-blues infused back to basic rock and roll wave which saw them surf the stages of the Soho scene alongside the likes of The Dogs and The Quireboys. The scene was vibrant, the music was great and life was good. But tastes change and as lad culture took a grip the band went on hiatus. Ironic really for a band whose heart beat with the same power-pop pulse, warmth and humour as The Faces, a band to which the incoming Brit-Pop owes no small debt of gratitude. Maybe it’s all about having the right hair cut!

Anyway, fast forward to 2014 and the band re-emerged, same musical chops, same glorious swagger….same haircuts… and proceeded to remind us via a new album, Transmissions From Oblivion, just what we had been missing all these years. Well, 13th Floor Renegades does nothing but underline just what musical joys Brit-Pop robbed us of throughout those intervening years. Tracks such as Primitive Man strut with a glam rock stomp and lead single No Sunshine is a fast and furious Stones-y slavo complete with shuffling interlude and fist in the air anthemics, but delivered at a speed that, even back in the their heyday, wouldn’t have attempted.

Whose Side Are You On? is what Hanoi Rocks would have sounded like if they had ditched the glam posturing and fully embraced a more pop sound, muscular yet melodic, incendiary but infectious and Miles Away sees them take a cosmic country-rock road trip.

Even within their power-pop-rock stamping ground they manage to explore a lot of territory from punked up, headlong rushes, to deft blues groovers, from folk-tinged passages to perfect, speed fuelled pop. But it all comes down to rock ’n’roll and whilst pursuing theses various sonic strands they do so with low-slung swagger and an attitude which is part rock icon, part party starting cheerleaders, part serious musical torchbearers, part fun loving blues bar jammers. And that’s one hell of a combination to get right but these boys play the part to perfection.


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