The South London trio have released their first full length album since 1987's 'Young And Free'!
A comeback album will usually fall into one of two camps. There are those where the artist has attempted to revisit former glories, writing material that borrows from their earlier work. Not ideal, obviously, but at least it's somewhat safe. Then there's the more problematic approach, where the artist tries to keep up with the contemporary scene, drawing influence from younger acts. This is invariably an embarrassing exercise, simply because in the process a group tends to lose whatever it was that endeared them to the public in the first place.
Occasionally, a band returns from a lengthy period away with a recording that avoids either of these scenarios. This Time is one such album. Those who love the records that Rock Goddess made in the 1980s should have no trouble relating to the songs on offer here. The Turner sisters still sing and play with the same verve, but they have been confident enough to take their music forward. And throughout, we hear the stylistic elements that made their original output so vital.
By way of introduction, the listener is greeted with the unmistakable voices of Jody and Julie, previewing the chorus of opener 'Are You Ready?' in striking harmony. It's a marvellous sound, and one that we are to hear plenty of during the next thirty-six minutes or so. Then we plunge into a different realm with 'Obsession'. It's dark, edgy, ambitious - and it works. Next, 'Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right' takes us back to the Goddess style of the early years. If anything on the album recalls the raw energy of the band's debut, it is this.
As a trio, Rock Goddess have always thrived on great ensemble playing. But individually there is a lot to dwell on, too. Julie Turner's drum performance is supremely confident, and Tracey Lamb - recently departed, to be replaced by Jenny Lane - delivers bass lines that are as adventurous as her earlier work. Best of all, the voice of Jody Turner has lost none of its authority, unafraid to traverse the full emotional range from tender to furious.
One of the strongest moments must surely be 'Calling To Space', a hooky, dynamic and immaculately arranged composition that boasts impressive vocal variation. But then there's 'Flying To See You', a slow burner with yet more thrilling harmonies, or the anthemic title track, or indeed the outstanding closer, 'Drive Me Away'. What is clear is that despite the enormous changes in recording technology since Young And Free in 1987, Goddess have managed to retain their integrity. This album was some time in the making, and the results speak for themselves.
Pre-order This Time on vinyl here at Cargo Records - due out 06/09/19.
*Saturday 31st August - The Tivoli Venue, Buckley
*Sunday 1st September - Exchange, Bristol
*Wednesday 4th September - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
*Thursday 5th September - The Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool
*Friday 6th September - Òran Mór, Glasgow
*Saturday 7th September - Yardbirds, Grimsby
*Sunday 8th September - The Robin 2, Bilston
Saturday 21st September - Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival 2019, Netherlands
Friday 4th October - Fatfest 2019, Swindon
*With Heavy Pettin'
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Writer: George Colwan