Released: April 2014
Take Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott, himself a dab hand at writing some killer songs (Pour Some Sugar On Me anyone?) and give him the Quireboys as a backing band, you would think you have a decent line up for a side project or classic rock originals.
However, despite Down ‘N’ Outz boasting the above line-up, they are a band with a very specific mission: covering the songs of Elliott’s hero Ian Hunter, including solo songs, Mott The Hoople and British Lions work.
As a concept it is perhaps a little too specific, but listening to the feel good rock tunes of Stiff Upper Lip and Rock And Roll Queen, you can see why Elliott was tempted to do it.
Their second effort, The Further Adventures of Down ‘N’ Outz continues where first album My Regeneration left off, covering a host of 1960s and ‘70s rock classics from Hunter’s output such as Marionette and Drivin’ Sister.
For those unfamiliar with the songs, it is a good record, but those familiar with the originals will see this as little more than a re-recorded compilation, which is essentially what it is.
The comic book cover and inside booklet featuring a whole comic storyline is neat, but does little to allay the discomfort of knowing this is a covers album.
As if knowing they have run out of steam with the concept, the band have already stated their next record will be entirely original compositions, and that is a much more exciting prospect than anything The Further Adventures of… offers.
Taken at face value as a collection of good rock songs recorded with some pristine production, this is good. But knowing this is merely a homage practice to Ian Hunter, it is a little disappointing. The quality of original material next time out will be crucial in deciding whether the Down ‘N’ Outz are as screwed as their name suggests.