Jeff Beck: Loud Hailer

28 Aug

JeffBeckLoudHailer

Jeff Beck is one of the great British rock guitarists of the Sixties, up there with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. And like those two, he was lead guitarist for British invasion band the Yardbirds.

I’ve recently become a fan of his 1975 album Blow by Blow, which is a terrific set of instrumentals. Going into Loud Hailer, I was expecting something built along similar lines. Instead, this is more of a traditional rock album — albeit one that features one of the best guitarists of his generation strutting his stuff.

Kicking off with ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’, Loud Hailer is not trying to echo Beck’s past work. Extremely contemporary in its production, Beck and co-producer Filippo Cimatti employ a variety of weird electronic soundscapes, dubstep and sampling as backdrops to Beck’s guitar. Rosie Bones provides the vocals here, and is an effective counterweight to Beck’s heavy stomp.

On tracks like ‘Live in the Dark’ and ‘The Ballad Of The Jersey Wives’, her rasp is especially memorable, her lyrics oscillating between humorous skewering of the the vacuousness of reality television and more pointed political criticism (‘Thug Life’, ’O.I.L.’).

As with Iggy Pop’s recent Post Pop Depression, the presence of younger collaborators seems to have invigorated the veteran rocker.

With Carmen Vandenberg on second electric guitar, this trio are a powerful combination which takes the classic sound Beck helped pioneer in the sixties and pushes it into the future. Despite the modern trappings, Loud Hailer feels more like a natural progression of Beck’s generation than most of the acts seeking to evoke it.

On certain tracks (‘Pull It’ is an obvious example), Beck pushes the ’nu’ button a bit too hard, winding up with tracks which are almost parodic in their fidelity to current tastes. However, these are minor nitpicks.

Loud Hailer is a solid, energetic outing from Jeff Beck that makes one wish he recorded more often.

 

By Tim George

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One Response to “Jeff Beck: Loud Hailer”

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  1. Jeff Beck: Loud Hailer — The Rag – SoundOpen - August 28, 2016

    […] via Jeff Beck: Loud Hailer — The Rag […]

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