review of the CD "Spicy No. 11"
Around Hamburg's Reeperbahn you can find any number of "sisters"
to party with. But partying with brothers? Well, not as you're talking
about the ROCKHOUSE BROTHERS. As soon as you see them, you know immediately
just what kind of music this rock'n'roll band is into. And these guys
were celebrated as if they were kings. Now they call themselves PAY-TV.
They're playing their own song now and are out to conquer the world
of pop music.
Pop music? Reviewing pop music is not really up my alley, but the music
of these guys grabs you from the start. All three band members are miked
and the harmonies are superb. Their song "Out there" is a
perfect example of this, and its haunting melody just won't let you
go. The gently strummed guitars and chords are an ideal match to this
song's mood. The whole CD is full of beautiful guitar parts and subdued
vocal solos. One can almost image you're listening to a CD of hits of
the 60s. This, despite the fact the band classifies its style as new-pop.
The band's history is also quite interesting:
As kids, Joe and James moved from the USA to good old England, where
Joe formed his first band. Shortly before a tour, the bass-player left
the band, so Joe asked his brother, James, if he could learn to play
the string bass within 4 weeks. Jamie said sure. He practised and studied,
eventually receiving an offer from "BUDDY - The Musical",
where he acted and played bass. Just around that time jazz drummer Wolff
Reichert auditioned for the same musical, and destiny was fulfilled:
the Wolfman became the drummer of the ROCKHOUSE BROTHERS.
Back to PAY-TV:
A promotional brochure writes: "..a mixture of RYAN ADAMS and COLDPLAY,
with a touch of THE POLICE in their younger years
yes. I'm personally not familiar with Coldplay, so I can't comment on
that comparison, but I failed to see any connection with The Police.
I was reminded more of the KINKS ("Feeling Stupid"). When
those beautiful harmonies I mentioned give way to solo vocals, one is
reminded somewhat of the fragile voice that is so characteristic of
Ray Davies. And fortunately, these guys manage to break up the "monotony"
of all those beautiful harmonies by mixing in just enough riffs here
and there to keep things interesting.
I also had the chance to listen to their track "Here we go",
to be found on a 3-song "single" CD they have also released.
Stylistically, it would be right at home on "Spicy No. 11",
from which they took two other numbers ("Safety Line " and
"Out there") to go along with this single. Together, these
three tunes make for a great introduction to these guys and their music.
Another quote from their producers: "Flawless Pop music with international
appeal! It might seem far-fetched to refer to PAY-TV as the "future
of rock music". But these guys could be just that."
I can go along with this first statement. I agree with the second one
as well. As far as the third one goes, I think it could do with an itsy-bitsy
shift of focus to get things heading back in the direction of "rock".
But is that really desirable? Regardless, with their premiere CD, the
guys from PAY-TV have shown us that they have really grasped the concept
of "best of both worlds". I'm sure we'll be hearing more from
PAY-TV in the future.
A thoroughly professionally produced CD; they even thought of including
all the song texts in the booklet!
Cited: home-of-rock.de , Ulli Heiser, 24.01.04
Translation by SoTi