Ever since I heard this track while exploring new customization options available on my Sirius XM online subscription last week (that's not a gratuitous plug - honest!), I've been trying to figure out how it's possible that my years of listening to classic rock and hard rock radio during the late '80s never exposed me to the astoundingly good, high-octane Australian guitar rock band The Angels. Unfortunately, as it turns out, there are lots of reasons for this musical injustice, including the fact that because of legal concerns regarding name similarities with the American KISS-inspired band Angel, this great band was forced to change its name to Angel City for international releases. Of course, that still doesn't explain why MTV and rock radio virtually ignored this band (discovered initially during the late '70s and supported by AC/DC's Angus Young) while giving plenty of time and attention to much less worthy artists. In fact, as good as Australia's most famous hard rock band is, The Angels actually boast a slightly more complex but no less powerful sound and an even better lead singer - believe or not - than AC/DC's original, legendary frontman Bon Scott.
So I find myself still baffled that the only way I had even heard mention of The Angels prior to last week's revelation was in conjunction with one of its pub rock, proto-punk contemporaries The Saints - and even then only in a cursory manner. Frontman Doc Neeson has a powerful, expressive voice that reminds me a bit of British punk-influenced rocker Tom Robinson, but even better, the rest of the band motors along with a molten intensity that will leave you breathless. "Fashion and Fame" happens to be the song that introduced me to this fine band, but it's far from the only one worth listening to from The Angels' consistent late '70s and '80s output. This is life-changing music that can restore jaded longtime music fans' faith in the power of rock. But don't settle at taking just my word for it - feel free to spend some time with The Angels' vast catalogue, and then spread the word.
- Sample or download "Fashion and Fame" here.
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