Sunday, March 8, 2015

SPAZ reviews The Bad And Lowdown World Of THE KANE GANG!


THE KANE GANG

THE BAD AND LOWDOWN WORLD OF 
THE KANE GANG
(3CD)



Yes, the ‘80s gave us plenty of gloriously mindless Pop. Then again, so has every other decade!  But when you think of mindless Pop, The Kane Gang should NEVER be considered.  Ever.  However, when you think of well-crafted, sophisticated and soulful Pop, they should be at the top of your list. In many ways, they should be the go-to band for those looking for an ‘80s band that created music for the mind, the heart and the soul.  Fortunately, their slick and polished sound worked in their favor – their songs were coated in a commercial shine that lured the Top 40 fans into a den filled with intelligent songs that possessed depth and meaning.  It wasn’t a case of bait-and-switch – it was more like getting exactly what the cover promised and so much more!

Formed by vocalists Martin Brammer and Paul Woods with multi-instrumentalist Dave Brewis, The Kane Gang served up a plate of Pop and Soul influenced gems brimming with melodic hooks and smart arrangements.  Their 1985 debut album, The Band And Lowdown World Of The Kane Gang, combined the sophisticated pop of Tears For Fears, the funky groove of Love And Money, and the smoothness of some of the silky soul albums of the era. Lyrically, the band balances social awareness with politics of a personal nature but it’s OK to like the song even if you don’t quite ‘get it’ at first. And let’s be honest – I’m not the smartest kitten in the litter so it’s the melody that grabs me first. Songs like “Gun Law,” “Loverville,” “Respect Yourself” (yes, a cover of The Staple Singers’ classic), “Small Town Creed” and especially “Closest Thing To Heaven” are all top notch tunes and still sound great today.  A classic debut, indeed!

With this awesome triple CD set (three mini LP sleeves housed in a slipcase), you not only get the album in its entirety, you also get seven bonus tracks on Disc One, 13 previously unreleased demos and five remixes on Disc Two and a third disc containing a complete live show!  This is more value than you could ever hope for!  I guess it sort of goes along with my earlier statement of getting what the cover promises and so much more!




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