Band of Spice - Economic Dancers (Scarlet Records)

Bewildering... just bewildering...
Release Date: 
12 Apr 2015 - 11:30pm

Spice, of course, being the former throat of Swedish stoner Gods the Spiritual Beggars; But stop reading now if you’re hoping that this solo effort from the man (and his band) in any way resembles the sound of his former employers, as that way lies disappointment and recrimination. After all, it’s a ‘solo’ album, right? So Spice can churn out any old tosh he pleases, am I wrong?

I’m not, and sadly that’s the problem. After starting well, with two heavied-up doses of the sort of energised power pop that revved up the radio in the late seventies – the excellent title track and the not-quite-so-good-but-still-rather-nice True Will – things start to go if not completely downhill then certainly awry. Starting this descent into madness is the frankly bewildering On the Run, wherein Spice lives out his Bruce Springsteen fantasies in all their, um, ‘glory’ – it ain’t good, let me tell you. We then get to be party to the man’s meanderings round his record collection, including some very tepid post-grunge filth in the shape of In My Blood before things rally on the penultimate track Down By the Liquor Store, where the Spice we all thought we knew and loved makes a reappearance. Funky, dirty, Lizzyesque storytelling is the order of the day here, and whilst I’d never be so presumptive as to tell a man of Spice’s standing what to put on his solo record, I’d just like to say that if it was all as good as …Liquor Store then we’d be looking at a very special album indeed. But it ain’t, so we’re not.

Bizarrely, final track You Know My Name is pretty good too – kinda like fellow Swede rockers the Diamond Dogs, but crucially just that bit heavier – so what we have here is four great tracks bookending some real dross, leading me to believe that maybe an EP would have been a better idea? Whatevs, approach this with caution, and buy really only if you have to have everything this bloke puts his name to.