Smashing car windscreens, incurring fines, egging politicians – the “characters the music industry is missing” (according to ex-Creation maestro Alan McGee), Alias Kid, are certainly doing their best to support claims that they’re the new bad boys of rock. Their emergence hasn’t gone unnoticed by others either, with Kasabian’s Tom Meighan claiming that “this band is what rock ‘n’ roll needs”.
McGee signed them to his latest label – 359 Music – barely six months after their formation, and with such a renowned manager on the touchline, the football loving working class heroes-in-waiting are indeed a much needed riposte to the overbearing middle class bands that remain dominant just about everywhere you look these days.
Alias Kid have already supported another band on McGee’s management roster, The Jesus And Mary Chain on their Psychocandy tour, and will soon be heading off with Shaun Ryder’s reformed Black Grape after they met the band at Bez’s electoral campaign, and it’s with the plethora of Manchester bands of the past where these boys mingle. Growing up as fans of McGee’s biggest legacy – Oasis – as well as Primal Scream and The Stone Roses amongst others, and with Inspiral Carpets’ Clint Boon plus Oasis’ Bonehead other well known supporters, there is a strong Mancunian presence that seeps indelibly into their output.
Revolt To Revolt was recorded in the Glasgow studio of Paul Quinn, Teenage Fanclub’s drummer, who has most recently been seen behind the kit for a reformed Andy Bell-less Hurricane #1, another ex-Creation act. With both Quinn and Kevin Burleigh (Glasvegas) producing the debut, the raw edge synonymous with new bands staking a claim to be the next people’s champions, though, is perhaps more polished than usual.
First single Dirty Soul is a cracker: repeated cries of “Come on” herald its arrival before leading into a decent stab of post-Oasis blended with Primal Scream rock, but if you’re after something raucous that supports the alleged bad boy image, it isn’t here, it’s just a good old fashioned ‘70s through ‘90s rock upgrade. Follow-up single Zara Henna sounds a bit like a Manchester take on a Blondie medley of Maria meeting Denis, but its appeal lies in its infectiousness. The third single to be released will be Messiah, and this one starts off to a grubby guitar line before the wah wah pedal comes out to briefly recall Bell’s favoured guitar tones when he actually was in Hurricane #1, the climax going down another Primal Scream route.
Revolution Sometime is an enjoyable fist-pumping anthem for youth angst, but the snarling, rebellious feel required in such circumstances isn’t particularly visible. Shot Through is another decent cut without being life-changingly jaw-dropping, its guitar solo being less than challenging, and the same can be said for the guitaring within the poppy, radio friendly Smoke And Ashes: it’s a guitar solo that, in all honesty, probably took about two minutes to perfect.
Let’s say, for arguments sake, all music is derivative. Let’s pretend that Oasis were a paler imitation of The Beatles – they were rather more than that, of course, but hold that thought. Then imagine that Leicester’s favourite sons Kasabian are a paler imitation of Oasis, and in turn that Alias Kid are a paler imitation, once more, of Kasabian, with She Don’t Yeah Yeah Yeah, for example, recalling Reason Is Treason to add a little weight to the theory. Upon first hearing Revolt To Revolt, these thoughts could well surface, and the likeness to early Oasis demo tapes before Liam developed his snarl and “sheeiiiiiine”, and the band their ‘fuck you’ attitude, you won’t be far away from where Alias Kid sit right now.
But apart from the dreadful Digsy’s Diner like closing track Wheels where the band throw in an empty, supposedly sneering line of “I ain’t gonna cry when it’s your turn to die, that’s all you’ll get from me so fuck off home”, coupled with the gruyere of cheesy keyboard riffs, this ain’t too bad an effort at all. Trouble is, they need their own identity and not someone else’s, but when this develops, McGee could definitely have a new biggie to shout about. Maybe.