GENE LOVES JEZEBEL Exploding Girls|
Now I know I can be remiss from time to time, but no I'm not 2 years late with this review, you cheeky monkeys. This is the 2005 reissue of the 2003 album, originally released on Aston's own label, Bless Momma Records but with extra tracks and a new cover. So, there.
For those who don't know Jay & Michael Aston dragged GLL through the goth wars of the eighties before falling out, falling apart, battling through courts, and heading to different sides of the world.
Michael it is who has claim to the name, despite leaving the band to twin brother Jay, who then released Kiss of Life, and scored the band's biggest hit, "Jealous". And this is what he's been up to in California. They were never really that goth, more drawn in through image than anything else, and nowadays he trades in big rock anthems, more akin to U2 than anything else. But not nearly as boring or up their own arses. It's vaguely a concept album comprising songs that Aston penned about women who have affected his life.
Contentiously enough, the opening, title track, "Exploding Girl", is apparently about Wafa Idris, Palestine's first female suicide bomber. I'm sure that's going down a treat in middle America, land of free speech (so long as it's white and right). There's a lot of political commentary here, something that is quite refreshing in our anodyne world.
The album is chock full of big songs, big choruses and big concepts. AMong the highlights are "Jenin", the story of Rachel Corrie who was ran over by a bulldozer in Israel while she was trying to stop it from demolishing someone’s house. "2 Hungry Women" has a Nine Inch Nails feel while Michael relates the dreadful tale of "one woman watches her child cry, and another watches her child cry, while American bombers rain down from above." Desperate, but is anyone listening? "Blue Mary" is a primeval, primal scream of a song, and "Wind & Fire" gives us some hope that love can pull us through.
If you open your heart to this album you'll find a lot to love, and it's a journey well worth taking.
Review by Stuart A.Hamilton