Reviewed by Tony Cummings
With a name like De-Sigh-Pill (say it quickly) and band members calling themselves things like Zadock My Son and The Rhino (bass and drums respectively, in case you were wondering) I was bracing myself for a comedy album, or at least a tongue-in-cheek swipe at. well, something. Instead when 'Looking Back' slipped into my CD tray, an impressive homage to the best of '70s rock issued forth from the speakers. I would hazard a guess that the turntable at De-Sigh-Pill HQ regularly features the likes of Camel, Rainbow or Led Zeppelin and if not, it should do, so that they can check out from where they've stolen most of their licks. Any band in this genre has to work hard to avoid unwittingly echoing the immortal Spinal Tap; thankfully De-Sigh-Pill do just enough to escape with their dignity intact, despite an ill-advised attempt at a Connery-as-007 imitation at the close of one track! Weighty riffs and widdly-widdly fretwork from Aaron Adams' guitar lays the foundation for plenty of heroic Lou Gramm/David Coverdale-style roaring and screaming from (here goes) Prof Immersa Jochannon (note to self - this may not be his real name.). The silly pseudonyms suggest a cheeky lightheartedness but the music takes itself very seriously. Case in point: track four "Passion Fruit" offers over eight minutes of OTT rock instrumental, beginning with some technically impressive but strangely character-less acoustic guitar wizardry and later morphing into a full band assault. As a general rule, the choruses and other hooks don't really sink in on first listen but given time the songs reveal more. Standout cuts for me were the final pair, power ballads "You" and "Poured Out" in which the band pull back a little, add touches of piano for some welcome variety, and allow the powerfully simple lyrics to breathe. At times the production lets the band down, a duff note or dodgy drum fill slips through and they don't sound as tight as they deserve to. However, fans of what these days is more politely called "classic rock" will find much to entertain here.
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