Release Hear’Say from the top of the pyre. Snub out Westlife’s final cigarettes. In the seventh circle of rock Hades, they’re snivelling little imps compared to the stinking great Satan that is The Black Crowes. Here’s your real enemy, kids; the men who have come to kidnap your rock music, drag it round the back of 1973 and kick seven shades of originality, vitality and wit out of it.
These despicable men wouldn’t piss on your record collection if it was on fire because they reckon they know exactly what rock’n’roll is: a decrepit amalgam of Jimi, Rod and Zep that died of being rubbish around 1969 but should be preserved forever in a glass case marked ‘NOT TO BE FIDDLED WITH BY HERETICS’. They’re a musical Ku Klux Klan, determined that their Levi’s-advert-in-a-desert bluezzzzz rock shall never be ‘contaminated’ with the disease of technology or invention. Following tours with those other professional Luddites, Oasis and the Stereophonics, the duet with Twatto from Toploader and Jools Holland on honky-tonk piano can only be milliseconds away. Oh for a new form of germ warfare that only exterminates self-righteous retro cun*s.
‘Lions’ is widdle-smothered great-grandadrock shite that Hendrix could whack off in ten minutes today, despite being dead. Pumped full of funk-rawk formaldehyde to stop the choruses dropping off, it boasts all the originality of a cloned baked bean and about as many tunes as a tractor makes trying to get out of a ditch. “Come awn come awn!/Everyone!” Chris Robinson squawks like a cancerous peacock on – oh yes – ‘Come On’ (imagine Victor Meldrew covering ‘Rocks’), and there the eloquence ends: ‘Midnight From The Inside Out’ is a hairy-arsed chugger to console our lads in Vietnam, while ‘Lickin” could’ve been written by Frank Zappa as a final, unfunny joke on us all.
It’s not all sub-‘Tommy’ twattery though – ‘Ozone Mama’ (no, really) storms into the ’70s by getting to grips with one of them there new-fangled harmonicas. When you’re down the next anti-globalisation city-burning, brick the windows of the nearest Megastore and make a bonfire of every copy of ‘Lions’ you can find. It’s for the good of humanity.