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Resident Alien

Spacehog

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Album Review

British but based in New York, Spacehog's publicity material would have you believe the group resurrects the glam heyday of vintage Bowie and Mott the Hoople (even disingeniously referring to them as "the band who fell to earth"). It's all well and good to set your sights high, but the hype creates expectations that Resident Alien is incapable of delivering, despite the blatant Ziggy Stardust vocal inflections of "Starside" and "Zeroes." There's no doubt that this awkwardly-named combo attack their chosen retro-glam vocation with panache, flash, and good humor, but there's ultimately not a lot of substance behind the theatrical pose and fat Gibson runs. With few exceptions (there's no denying the preening bulls-eye of "Never Coming Down") the songwriting tends to be fairly frothy. Still, I'd take a dose of Resident Alien any day over yet another cold dish of serious, mystically dour, faux-acid rock Doors/Led Zep wannabes. Ironically, by homogenizing the Brit-glam sound in their manner, Spacehog may just succeed in bridging to U.S. audiences who often have difficulty relating to the "Britishness" of the latest U.K. wave.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Spacehog mixed glam rock influences, including David Bowie and T. Rex, into their wall-of-distorted-guitars sound, a combination that helped the band make a modest dent in the late-'90s alternative rock scene. The quartet formed in New York City in 1993, following British drummer Jonny Cragg's move from Leeds to the Big Apple. He landed a job killing rats in the basement of an espresso bar, and although the work was less than desirable, he managed to meet guitarist (and fellow U.K. native) Antony...
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Resident Alien, Spacehog
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