Glam-rock revivals can be a tricky endeavor. One can’t simply assume the presence and personality of a David Bowie or Bryan Ferry, legends of their craft who mixed commanding vocal authority with playful creativity in their songwriting, which was often thematic and ranged from the gloomily haunting to brightly infectious romps. Recent glam-owing artists like Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and Foxygen concoct certain sounds of the past, which is a challenge in itself, but their music is so striking mainly because it possesses a sort of rare bursting personality; it’s a trait exemplary of the best rock music of the ’60s and ’70s.
Lord Russ follows in their footsteps, with a true-to-heart Bryan Ferry imitation supporting his engaging songwriting. Lord Russ’ vocals mix the deadpan baritone emotion of Ferry or Scott Walker with the spontaneously creative vocal twists of Sparks’ Russell Mael. Russ’ striking homage to glam and psych-rock is perhaps best shown on the track “Cadaques Cabaret”, a journey of pulsating power-rock and Medieval-like woodwind interludes. We learn the title’s name in the spirited chorus, where Russ cuts up the title’s parts into an excitable fervor. Lord Russ is actually from Northampton, Massachusetts, despite sounding authentically British. No matter. This is some blast-to-the-past fun.