ALBUM REVIEW - Q magazine
NEUROTIC OUTSIDERS - "Neurotic Outsiders"
Neurotic Outsiders: their other band's a Sex Pistols/Gun N'Roses/ Duran Duran.
As anyone with rudimentary art training knows, the mixing of the three primary colours red, yellow and blue creates not some psychedelic space-hue but brown. Equally, uniting the members of three rock bands which - at one time or another - shook the world does not necessarily a super-group make. The Sex Pistols, Duran Duran and Guns N' Roses certainly did their bit but, disappointingly, splinter project the Neurotic Outsiders are not Rotten, Le Bon, Slash and Rose, They are Fatso, the former Mr De Cadanet, ex-Cultbloke and the other one, Phew! The heavy metal Visage!
Converging last year at LA's notorious nitespot-cum-graveyard the Viper Room - and winding up doing a cosy residency there -The likeminded three-expats-and-a-local ploughed the familiar "four people having a good time" furrow (initially covering Iggy, Roxy, Johnny Thunders), until unused solo material from Jones and Taylor crept in. Enter Talking Head Jerry Harrison wearing his producer's chapeau and Madonna's label Maverick, and this 1l-song album is the result. In America, this stuff happens.
Predictably caught short between Sunset Strip metal and Finsbury Park punk, a dependable chunkiness and genuine air of "partee" do permeate through the clichés. Ignoring the problematic lyrical gist of Nasty Ho ("You don't mean a thing if my dick don't swing"), it's as harmless as Uncle Alan and your mum doing "the jive" at a wedding reception. Indeed, the subtler echoes herein are quite a recommendation: the chorus on Good News is almost Terrorvision-like in its singalongability, Feelings Are Good is a deliberate Nirvanalike, and ballad Better Way touches on (alright, barges into) Bowie's Rock'n'Roll Suicide.
There's one too many textbook Pistolian intro (to which, in effect, Jones owns the freehold -although Union's autobiographical look back at his old band takes the self-referential biscuit), one too many yobbisb covers of The Clash's Janie Jones (ie one), and Jerk, which is plain rubbish ("You're a prat, I'm a prick, I don't think that we will stick/I'm a cat, you're a chick, I think you deserve one more lick"). Meanwhile, Jones's careless vocal lapse (from West Coast "C'mon babe-eugh" to chirpy cockernee "'Ere we go" is either a cute transatlantic touch, or simple lack of continuity.
Nowhere near as bad as it promised on paper-or Viper Room napkin - there is much macho rock listener fun to be had here. Assuming you can blot out John Taylor. * * * (out of 5)
All material ©Philjens/www.cookandjones.co.uk 1998/2002