Sunday, 6 January 2019
Mott - Shouting And Pointing (1976)
Released in 1976
Firstly, let me make it clear for those who may not be aware, this is not Mott The Hoople, its is Mott, the post-Ian Hunter band containing original MTH members, bassist Overend Watts and drummer Dale "Buffin" Griffin and latter-day pianist Morgan Fisher, plus Spinal Tap-esque high-pitched vocalist Nigel Benjamin and lead guitarist Ray Major. I know there are a few people out there who did like this incarnation of the band, but they never did it for me, and in many ways, I found them a sad postscript to the history of such an iconic band. The music they produced was "heavy rock by posturing numbers" and nothing like either the shambolic fun of the original Mott The Hoople or the infectious glam rock of the 1972-74 years. To be frankly honest, with punk sweeping all before it i 1976-77, Mott were an embarrassment, showing all the stereotypes that Spinal Tap lampooned so well. The band's first album "Drive On" had a couple of reasonable moments. This one really doesn't have many at all. I saw Mott live in 1976 and felt the same then as I do now. I feel bad about that, as Mott The Hoople were "my band" through my teenage years.
1. Shouting And Pointing
2. Collision Course
4. Career (No Such Thing as Rock And Roll)
5. Hold On, You're Crazy
6. See You Again
7. Too Short Arms (I Don't Care)
8. Broadside Outcasts
9. Good Times
"Shouting And Pointing" is redeemed by Morgan Fisher's excellent piano and some good mid-track guitar, but otherwise it is dominated by Nigel Benjamin's high-pitched vocal and various "heavy rock" clichés. "Collision Course" is a typical, instantly recognisable song from bassist Pete "Overend" Watts, similar to Mott the Hoople's "Born Late '58". It is probably one of the best tracks on the album. Watts' voice wasn't great, but I much prefer it to Benjamin's. "Storm" is an ok rocker, to be fair, but again the falsetto squealing vocals at times are irritating. Unfortunately, "Career (No Such Thing As Rock And Roll)" sees composers Benjamin and Fisher trying to recapture Ian Hunter's wry, observational songwriting style in a sort of we-write of "The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople". While Fisher's piano is impressive, the whole thing just sounds like a sad attempt to recreate former glories.
Watts' "Hold On You're Crazy" is another riffy number but it is nowhere near as good as "Collision Course" and it all sounds very third division, to be honest. Even some Deep Purple riffage an't really save it. Overend contributes another number in the bluesy rock of "See You Again", which is ok, but certainly nothing special. In an album of pretty poor, muffled sound quality, this track has the best audio. Fisher contributes a nice bit of piano at one point too. "Too Short Arms (I Don't Care)" rocks averagely, and "Broadside Outcasts" has hints of The Small Faces, for me, anyway. Either way, it isn't much cop. "Good Times" is an Easybeats cover and again, it just sounds decidedly average. Yes, it rocks, but this stuff just can't hold a candle to anything Mott The Hoople released, whatever some say.