Album Reviews

Cold Chisel – No Plans Review

Released by: Warner Music Australia

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: http://www.coldchisel.com

 

Line Up:

Jimmy Barnes – Vocals

Ian Moss – Guitars/Vocals

Steve Prestwich – Drums/Vocals

Phil Small – Bass/Vocals

Don Walker – Keyboards/Vocals

Charley Drayton – Drums/Vocal

 

Tracklist:

01. No Plans

02. Everybody

03. All For You

04. HQ454 Monroe

05. Dead And Laid To Rest

06. Missing A Girl

07. Too Late

08. I Gotta Get Back On The Road

09. Our Old Flame

10. This Day

11. Summer Moon

12. The Horizon

13. I Got Things To Do

 

COLD CHISEL, arguably the greatest pure pub rock band in the world, and definitely one of the most important bands in Australian music history officially called it a day about fourteen years ago with their final album THE LAST WAVE OF SUMMER. Since that time though the boys have all been rather busy, and it would be a massive task to try and recount everything music-related they have been up to. The initial seeds of a reformation were sown when the band was presented with an opportunity to play at the 2009 V8 Supercars Championship in Sydney. It was originally going to just be a one-off, but the chemistry was obviously still there as from the moment that gig finished the band was back together. Since that decision was made the band have had so overcome some awful experiences, none more so that the passing of drummer Steve Preswitch, one of the most respected and revered people in the Australian music scene. This alone could have easily been enough to have caused the rest of the band to pull the pin on recording a new album, but add the fact that front man Jimmy Barnes was hospitalized for heart problems after passing out while belting out a tune on-stage and Ian Moss ending up on a hospital drip due to a cat attack, well let’s just say it was a very good effort and a credit to band to just keep going forward even though it must have felt at some stage like pushing shit up a hill.

Across the thirteen tracks of NO PLANS you can hear the influences of what the boys have been up to in their off-time, but it’s still unmistakably a COLD CHISEL record through and through, and will have long-time fans of the band jumping out of their skins with joy. Jimmy Barnes is still as potent as ever, with his razor blade vocal attack not really losing much at all over the years, his time as a solo act also allowed him to learn to incorporate more vocal melody here than what you would usually find on a COLD CHISEL album, which makes the slower tracks here a real treat. Ian Moss is in fine, fine form and surely by now should be considered one of, of not THE best guitarist in Australia, not just from a playing standpoint, but also looking at him compositional skills too. And of course the unsung hero of the band Don Walker, Australia’s most consistent songwriter, who once gain shows that he just rises to another level when he gets together with the other members of COLD CHISEL.

The album opens with the ferocious title track NO PLANS, which takes about fifteen seconds to remind everybody that CHISEL are still the real-deal and rock it as hard as anyone else on the block. EVERYBODY takes a stab at the dickheads of the world and has a great cruisy vibe, it’s a little different than what you might expect from the band but fits into the album just fine. ALL FOR YOU is the first of a couple of ballads on offer here and is very classy. It does however sound more like something that Jimmy Barnes would have released in his solo days rather than a traditional COLD CHISEL ballad. The album gets rowdy again with HQ454 MONROE, a rollicking tribute to Australia’s favorite muscle car the HQ MONARO. It’s a fun tune lyrically and musically could almost be considered the younger sibling to COLD CHISEL classic RISING SUN. DEAD AND LAID TO REST is in a similar vibe to earlier track EVERYBODY, not one of my favorites but still a fine album track. Mossy gets the acoustic out for ballad track MISSING A GIRL, once again not quite in the same class as classic CHISEL ballads, but a very nice track all the same.

Ahhh….. now comes TOO LATE and finally we get a tune with Ian Moss on the microphone. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Jimmy Barnes, but every time Ian moss adds a vocal track it’s a fantastic change of pace and something I look forward to a lot each time I put on a COLD CHISEL record. I GOTTA GET BACK ON THE ROAD has a very BOW RIVER feel to it both lyrically and musically and the guitar work from Ian Moss is very, very distinctive on this track. OUR OLD FLAME is so perfectly suited to a bar of boozed up blokes holding their glasses in the air and slurring out a chorus of lost and better days. THIS DAY is one of those late album tracks that doesn’t really excite too much but doesn’t do anything wrong either, not a favorite here but still good enough to not hit the skip button. SUMMER MOON is another Ian Moss fronted track, and is probably all in all the better of the two available on NO PLANS. THE HORIZON has that classic working-class feel to it that COLD CHISEL have consistently been able to create across their entire career…A great late album tune this one. The closing track I GOT THINGS TO DO is a very special song. It was written by the band’s late drummer Steve Preswitch and was his final contribution to the world. Listening to the lyrics is a very haunting experience and the band have done a fantastic job to ensure that Preswitch’s final song was given the correct treatment and it’s the absolute perfect way to finish off an album.

All in all, my only complaint as a long-time COLD CHISEL fan is that the album could have done with one or two faster pub rockers like NO PLANS and HQ454 MONROE. Considering COLD CHISEL are a band that we all though were lost forever though, NO PLANS is a very worthy addition to the band’s discography and should give most fans a reason to get excited again. In a world where the stupid, pointless manufactured cow shit like ONE DIRECTION are brainwashing an entire generation of sheep, ya gotta admit, it’s very refreshing to know that there are still guys like COLD CHISEL interested in writing clever, skillful music for the rest of us to get excited about.

 

Written by Zeezee

Ratings    Zeezee    9/10

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