Slyder Smith & The Oblivion Kids “Charm Offensive”
As mentioned in our recent review of the new release from Marc Valentine, we were gutted to hear that the brilliant Last Great Dreamers were taking a bit of a break. But the great news is that it means that within a short period we get the chance to hear new material from the two key players. Slyder Smith has always been a frustrated front man and the dual vocals have always been a big part in what made the Dreamers special, so we had high hopes for this release.
We got off to a bit of a nervous start with the instrumental spaghetti western feel of “El Encantador”, but that was before the rock n roll drums of “Calico Queen” kicked in. Although there is still a sort of ‘country’ feel to that song and the likes of “I Don’t Want To Run”. They’re not really country, but just have a good time rock n roll outlaw sound. Indeed, they remind us of classic bands like The Crybabies and The Dogs D’amour. A point really proved with the ‘cover’ (is it a cover if it’s one of your songs from another band?) of “Crash Landing In Teenage Heaven” which is completely changed from a power pop rocker to a slide guitar dominated ballad.
Certainly, if Marc Valentine’s recent release focused on the power pop side of the Last Great Dreamers, then this release focuses on the more rocking side. Tracks like “Pleasure Victim” and “Hope Without Warning” have a more polished Hanoi Rocks feel to them.
But again, there is no sign of an artist relying on his established style or existing fan base, there’s a few ‘curveballs’ in here. There’s an almost indie feel to “I’m Done” and “Road Love” and you kind of feel they would’ve been hits in the Brit pop/rock days, “I’m Done” in particular is a real gem of a song. Although fans of The Dreamers will certainly adore the pop rock tracks like “When The Rain Comes” and “Never Ending Story”.
So, whilst we continue to hope for the reforming of The Last Great Dreamers and another dose of the finest power pop in the interim, we have another slice of great British rock to enjoy. It’s great to see artists willing to spread their wings and continue to try and keep the music scene alive. So let’s do all we can to support the album and get out to see the band as they tour in support