Laura Cox - Burning Bright
No more Laura Cox Band in name, it's Laura Cox now on her (not their) second release, as was to be expected. The guys in the band are interchangeable, if not in practice, then at least theoretically. Ms Cox (why does the name sound like a porn performer from way back when - or is it just me?) goes solo (uh, sorry about that). While the Laura Cox Band's debut was very much Blues-Rock coloured, this one here is actually with both feet in the hardrock genre.
I don't know what it is with all these bands starting out with a Bluesrock offering and turning the wheel around completely on their second offering. There's a few who pulled the same stunt. I'm not saying the music isn't worth it here, quite the opposite, but I have to admit, to my ears, this is a bit of a Hardrock wasteland. The class ideas for songs seem to have been lost somewhere in between the two releases. But if you want headbanging, this one's for you. And the fact that I did buy the CD as well as the LP tells you something else. I'm just refusing to sweet-talk anything here. I don't dismiss the whole package, that much I can safely say.
I've heard from a friend, after he listened to their debut, that Laura Cox can't sing for the life of her. I highly regard his opinion, but I beg to have a different one. At least with regards to the aforementiond debut. Here it is quite a different matter because Ms Cox' voice doesn't seem to be suited to Hardrock. She does sound a bit pressed and not completely at ease with the song material presented here. Actually, I became aware of the Laura Cox Band because they hail from France and although the country has a long tradition of music of almost all sorts, they seem to be a bit thin on the ground with regards to Rock, Blues and Rock'n'Roll. Yes, there are excellent artists in these genres through the decades, but really, the aforementioned genres are not a hot item there (or I've been looking the wrong way, which is also possible). The Laura Cox Band was a revelation.
But I'm being honest here, if not for "Hard Blues Shot", I wouldn't have bothered with "Burning Bright". Okay to listen to without stopping the turntable and putting on some Phil Collins (Jeez, I'm only joking - stop hyperventilating), but certainly not in 10 % country (as in 10 % of your best records). But there's another problem. The album is released on CD and LP, the latter especially welcome with me. BUT the vinyl is an insult to every customer buying this thing. In fact, the last item I bought, that was of equally bad quality, was the Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers" (new release) that was pressed at GZ. The latter was full of scuffs, dust, fingerprints and in general looked like something buried in the desert sand (without protection) for the last century.
And there you are, thinking it can't get any worse than that until ... yes, until you get Laura Cox' "Burning Bright" on LP. The actual record itself is housed in an innersleeve made out of paperstock that's fit to be used for the manufacturing of sandpaper and the record looks the part. Totally trashed with large areas of the vinyl surface being damaged (and I'm not talking just about scuffs and/or hairlines). The thing looks like someone had indeed sandpapered it and even then didn't too good of a job. And getting a new copy isn't a solution either, because, I believe, considering the "quality" of the inner, each and every record looks the same (unless they've chosen to send the only substandard one to me).
I'm quite disappointed by this absolute disregard for the paying punter and would beg Laura Cox to refrain from issuing her output on vinyl, as she (or her management) doesn't/don't care the least bit about quality and it's only a matter of saving a couple of cents in the production of their items. I'l try to find out what pressing plant this is, but my money is on GZ again.