Album: Spinal Tap, Back from the Dead, (The Label Industry)

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The Independent Culture

The unwittingly self-condemning title is in keeping with Spinal Tap's ongoing satire, offering the unvoiced but unavoidable subtext underlying the current rash of band reformations.

So too the strategy of offering warmed-up retreads of former glories, seasoned with a handful of new songs - although the re-recorded Tap classics are freshened up to tickle the funny-bone in a variety of preposterous new ways. "Sex Farm", for instance, becomes the even more excruciating jazz-funk number "(Funky) Sex Farm", while "(Listen to the) Flower People" has been rendered as the kind of white reggae that teeters precariously on the verge of racial insult: certainly, as a caucasian of some years' standing, I feel utterly insulted. And it has to be admitted that the three excerpts of "Jazz Oddyssey" [sic] more than fulfil the depths of one's expectations for Derek Smalls's sadly deathless moment in the sun. Of the new material, "Warmer Than Hell" (opening line: "The devil went to Devon") depicts Satan at the seaside, while the ironically-titled "Short And Sweet" is expanded into the album's longest track. But it's the acappella "Celtic Blues" that furnishes the album's best line: "I loved me a lass whose hair was long, and brown as the finest stew". Sheer poetry!

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Celtic Blues', 'Warmer Than Hell', '(Funky) Sex Farm'