Wed 26th October 2005
According to the press release pack accompanying this CD from before-now unknown-to-me Londoner's Revcounter, they're obviously an ambitious lot who want to go far. An impressive list of radio endorsements and features on Channel 4's T4 is allied to a varied list of support slots from the small but brilliant (Josiah) to the huge yet awful (Keane). Their list of influences bode well - Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Stooges and MC5 - yet then that's nothing new, but first appearances are also superficially exciting - the car obsession displayed in the band's name, the EP's name and the Indy 500 artwork - so far so Fu Manchu.
Musically, 'Accelerate' begins well, with the excellent 'Steal Your Cool'. The fast paced guitar riff rock brings to mind Hermano, not least because of the confident vocals that sound not unlike an un-American John Garcia. The great start is so nearly continued with the following title track, depending on your views on plagiarism. For while there's an impressive flow to the track, and a gorgeous guitar section, there is a nagging feeling that I've heard it before - and it doesn't take long to solve. Before Mr. Homme decided to choose it again for 'Songs for the Deaf', copying a chunk of 'You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel like a Millionaire' may have gone unnoticed by all but stoner rock aficionados like myself (ahem) relatively hidden away on 'Desert Sessions V', but as it now happens to open the massively selling third Queens album, it's quite blatant.
'Ride On' follows, and is a decent, if dated track, like Mudhoney fronted by Ian Astbury (John Garcia's inspiration as it happens) and the vocals fit well with the pace of the tracks. They're pushed to the fore in 'Last Man Standing' and it doesn't really work as the music slows, despite being assisted by some glorious guitar towards the end. The trippy vibe attempted exposes the vocals that for once don't hold up. A similar 'experimental' vein is evident on EP closer '50° of Sky' with much greater results as synthy effects enter to combine well with the again excellent guitar and rhythm section, and the vocals sounding again well suited.
It's no surprise that they released the opening and closing songs as a double A side - they are fantastic tracks that promise much for the aims of the band. What's between isn't exactly bad either, but with a couple more of the quality of 'Steal Your Cool' and '50° of Sky' (created without 'borrowing' from elsewhere) then there's no reason why they shouldn't achieve what they want. Well worth checking out - especially if you can stick on 'Steal Your Cool', think of Keane fans wilting under the weight of stoner groove, and be strangely warmed by the thought.