Album review: Adam Ant, Adam Ant is the Bluback Hussar... (Blueblack Hussar Records)


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

What most people know about Adam Ant's troubled 21st century is that he threw a car alternator through a pub window, waved a gun around and got sectioned. What fewer realise is he's been working on a comeback album. He's self-aware enough to acknowledge the situation in swamp-glam lead single "Cool Zombie" (interest declared: I'm in the video), with its references to "not playing with a full deck", and on Blueblack Hussar's title track, wherein he admits: "You know me, I go too far."

What this album isn't is an attempt to recapture Ant's glory days: there's no Burundi double-drumming and no spaghetti-western guitar. The Ant album it reminds me of the most, in fact, is Dirk Wears White Sox: there's the same mid-fi production, and the same mix of perversion. There are even Dirk-style tributes: to Ziggy-inspiring rock'n'roller Vince Taylor, and to McLaren ("Who's a Goofy Bunny?") and Westwood ("Vivienne's Tears").

The standouts, though, are neo-1950s ballad "Valentines", the exuberant "Bull****" (sic) and the metallic "Hard Men Tough Blokes".

It's sprawling, overdue and not for everyone, but at least it's not a play-it-safe comeback with the hot producer of the day. And for that, the Hussar should be saluted.