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I have to be honest and say that looking at the PR blurb, CD booklet and band photos presented here, I was very much expecting a tepid pop punk experience whilst listening to the re-release of The Idol Dead's second album, 'Dark Little Hearts'. Indeed, there are a few cheesy and juvenile moments but, on the whole, this is actually a pretty good listen, albeit an unoriginal one, but then rock n roll cannot really be re-invented, can it? Quite why, with all the very positive reviews this got back in 2012 when it was first released, The Idol Dead are re-releasing this now 18 months later, is also a mystery to me, but I hadn't heard it before so I suppose it's worked in some respects.

The Idol Dead hail from Leeds and were formed 2008, and cite a variety of influences that include David Bowie and Queen. Well, far be it for me to cause offence, but there is absolutely no Bowie or Queen here at all; however, what you will get is 10 good rock songs in the vein of Feeder, The Wildhearts, The Ramones, some Zodiac Mindwarp and a smidge of Motorhead. You'll also get a cheesy ballad, that tries to sound grown up and doesn't, but you can't have everything!

A five piece, The Idol Dead certainly come across to me as a band that will be much more fun in a live setting so I'm actually pleased I'll be seeing them at the SOS Festival this year to see if that is the case. Vocalist Polly Phluid (hmmm) has a decent enough voice and is backed up adequately by guitarists KC Duggan & Tim Jeffs, bassist Dan Sugden and drummer Nish Gonsalkorale. Songs that stand out for me are 'Bad Fiction' which has a good Motorhead style riff, 'Hey Girl' which consists of a pop punk verse that would probably go down a storm on Kerrang Radio but is saved by a good chorus, 'I'm Drowning' which is the aforementioned ballad and sticks out like a sore thumb, and final song 'Beautiful Disaster' which is good but has a riff mid way through that relies too heavily on a classic Sabbath track (I'll let you work out which one, it's not difficult to spot).

Re-reading what I've written up to this point makes me sound like I have a bit of a downer on The Idol Dead, but that isn't actually the case. This is still a good album that will see favour with a slew of more modern publications and probably a wide demographic of rock fans. It's just a little predictable, safe and doesn't make my heart beat fast enough. They could certainly do with a bit of an image change because the Blink 182 look does nothing for them and also getting a blurb writer that doesn't make them sound like the second coming of Christ. I am but one person, though, and I suspect a person in a minority because everyone else seems to really like this. I'll reserve judgement for now and wait till I've seen them live.
RAAA! Records
Review by Rick Tilley
5th May 2014
1) Blue Skies
2) Vampire
3) Six Feet Under
4) Dion
5) Hey Girl
6) Bad Fiction
7) I'm Drowning
8) Bleed
9) You Don't Know
10) I Don't Wanna
11) Beautiful Disaster
"...a few cheesy and juvenile moments but, on the whole, this is actually a pretty good listen, albeit an unoriginal one..."