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iTunes Review

As singer/guitarist with the Stranglers (which he departed in 1990), Hugh Cornwall purveyed a bruised and brutal strain of British punk rock.Hooverdam deserves attention for its stripped-down musical attack and succinct, provocative lyrics. Cornwall’s misanthropic tendencies have mellowed with time, but he still likes to prod at the minds of his fans. “Going to the City” (a retro-rockabilly piece) and “Within or Without You” (containing the arresting line, “it’s like passing gas/’cause nothing ever lasts”) have the grittiness of street poetry. Cornwall shows his fascination with the darker aspects of sexual attraction on “Delightful Nightmare,” a spiky, slogging track with Goth overtones. He lightens up on the vaguely prog-rock instrumental “Phillip K. Ridiculous” and the surprisingly poppy “Beat of My Heart.” The impact of the album’s songs is blunted somewhat by Cornwall’s limited vocals. As its anthemic closing track “Banging on At the Same Old Drum” makes clear, Hooverdam is a reaffirmation of classic punk defiance from a matured perspective.


Born: August 28, 1949 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The longtime frontman for the British punk outfit the Stranglers, Hugh Cornwell made his solo debut in 1979 with Nosferatu; a second solo effort, Wolf, was nine years in forthcoming, but in the decade to follow the singer proved relatively prolific, issuing Wired (retitled First Bus...
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Hooverdam, Hugh Cornwell
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