Well we all know John Edwards, or at least you should! Unless of course you’ve been on that remote desert Island for the past forty years or so! But for those who don’t…….. John’s musical career has spanned a few decades now, but he only really came into the public eye after joining Status Quo 1986. He made his last solo album Rhino’s Revenge back in 2000, and now he has put together as John described it, his “imaginatively titled”, “Rhino’s Revenge II”. This new one though is predominantly a family affair with both of John’s sons Freddie on lead guitar and Max on the drums.
Hearing this album for the first time I was quite pleasantly surprised! John has put together a pretty good mix of tracks, and seems to have laid down songs that have real personal meaning rather than just knocking out a bunch of pulp crowd pleasing rock pop songs to please the masses.
“Tomorrow Is Today” has got a real something about it that got me hooked right from the start. It’s got a dark undertone, and I think it would sound great as a track for a film score. The very heavy base licks are a running theme throughout this album, a feature I would have expected really though, John being a “base” player after all! Good rhythm, beat and very good harmony’s with lyrics you can actually understand, overall a pretty good opener of a track.
Now moving on, the first thing that struck me was how I thought the opening riff of “Black Widows,” actually sounded like it could have been a new release from the admired and missed Stranglers. It was like being transported back to the late nineteen seventies all over again!! John did describe it to me when I interviewed him as a “Happy song about suicide!” It’s a fairly heavy bass laden guitar track again, with a kind of hard “gangster” gritty type feel to it? This was not the style of song I was expecting based on his last solo album. John really seems to have shaken the bag a little and mixed up everything on this 12 track album, so fair play to him for making me sit up and take note!
Next up, a track called “Famous”. Is this a jibe at the modern youth culture for wanting to be famous? Or on the other hand, trying to be famous for doing nothing, or just about doing anything to be noticed?? You decide! That said, it has a catchy foot-tapping tempo, and good lyrics and was in no way an unpleasant song to listen to. I personally think it’s a song which if we still had the old “Top 40” chart system running, would most likely make it into the top twenty at least, with its catchy melody! You’ll remember it though I am sure, once listened to.
Now “One Note Blues” has a most definite Status Quo feel to it. Well, after over twenty years in the band I would have been very disappointed if John had missed out a track like this to be honest. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one actually found its way into a Quo set at some point in the future too. It has that real feel down to earth Rock n Roll rhythm and beat, now synonymous with the legendary Status Quo. Not much more to say really, the song just speaks for itself, quality!
“Secretary”, comes at you again with a strong base beat like Black Widows. Edging towards the heavier side of rock, it’s a kinda saucy tongue in cheek take on the life of secretary we’ve all been led to believe takes place in every office block. The song itself has some good riffs, it’s well composed and basically is just about having bit of fun I’d say. Pretty much proved with other titles on the album such as “All The Girls Love A Bastard” and the song “My Name Is Stan”, written about John’s little dog who hated him, so he told me!!
As a second solo album and after a fifteen year gap, I’d say it’s not bad at all, a good bit of work and at least is deserving of a 3/5 in my book.
- Tomorrow Is Today
- New New New
- All the Girls Love A Bastard
- My Name Is Stan
- Busy Doing Nothin
- One Note Blues
- Black Widows
- Take ‘Em Down
John ‘Rhino’ Edwards: Vocals,
Bass.Freddie Edwards: Lead Guitar.
Matthew Starritt: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Harp.
Max Edwards/Billy Kress: Drums.
- £10.99 CD £7.99 Mp3