Thanks to the good folks at Easy Action records one of the greatest albums of the 1990's has finally been issued on Pink Vinyl for the first time. The totally legendary Hymns For Strange Children by Rachel Stamp one of the greatest Glam sleaze, punk metal pop albums ever. This is an album I have heard more than almost any album I've ever reviewed, as this got played constantly after it came out originally in February 2000 that made it the last great album of the 90's for me. By the time it came out I must have already seen Rachel Stamp at least a dozen times live, since first seeing them when The Ice Mummies supported them at the Barfly in Camden, as that bands onstage dancer I couldn't get over how brilliant Rachel Stamp were, as they had star quality in ways the Ice Mummies sadly didn't.
Rachel Stamp's classic line up of David Ryder-Prangley, Will Crewsdon, Robin Guy and Shaheena Dax have remained a brilliant live band while going off and playing in a stellar list of other bands including Sham 69, T-Rextacy, Selector, Celine Dion, Faith No More, Adam And The Ants, Running Riots etc etc.
I was singing along to this album from the very opening of the A-side, as Monsters Of The New Wave bursts into life with a brilliant glam tale of love and desertion gets going, catchy as it gets, with a keyboard riff that just kills from Miss Shaheena Dax as Will Crewsdon's guitar goes off we are all in love with that Monster Of The New Wave once more.
Brand New Toy is a classic hit, right from the moment Robin Guy's drum intro before David Ryder-Prangley and Will Crewsdon come in with the sleaze set to stun, as David lets you know he wants to come over and break your heart, as Shaheena's synths take you the heaven.
I Got The Worm is a classic sing a long hit for strange children, huge chorus with the down and dirty lyrics, incredible synths meshing with the guitar line before that rocking guitar solo set against Robins perfect drumming, before the Bass breakdown as things go all spacey.
I Wanna Be Your Doll starts quietly, searing as the band comes in, David lets you know he want to be your automated masturbator, as this gets glammier, sleazier, just full of rampant desire.
Ladies + Gents is almost a nursery rhyme for star crossed Lovers to fall in and out of lust too, full of lust and desire so powerful it might make you want to kill yourself, don't do it, just listen to more Rachel Stamp instead. I love Shaheena's deadpan replies to David on this duet.
Spank was a total hit, stomping glam rock with some super cool synth parts as everyone chants Spank over and over as Wills Guitar solo fries your mind.
On the Vinyl the B-side opens with the plaintive piano line that David sings gently over at the start of Didn't I Break My Heart Over You as it goes full on glam tale of heartbreak and betrayal with the classic synth line as usual leading into some more of Wills guitar magic.
A perfect example of the loud quiet song is next in Take A Hold of Yourself, a song for getting to grips with yourself, as your sleaze ridden existence needs some re-evaluation, the glorious glam pop backing perfectly illustrates the lyrics libidinous tale.
Pink Skab has a wailing hissing intro, stomping guitars, drums on this sex sodden tale of obsessive fans/lovers who nail you to their bedroom walls, the dichotomy of fandom, lust that could give you a broken back before you tell them your name.
The dark diseased synth line that opens Dirty Bone is key to this classic song about an original sinner straight out of Pinner, as we all want to take a ride on that Dirty Bone, sleazy glam synth pop incarnate.
The album closes with My Sweet Rose the bands biggest top 30 hit, a brilliant slice of glam pop cool, quiet intro, love and lust intertwine as the lover's part and the guitars explode, a perfect single still sounds magnificent, as we all want someone with lips of cherry chrome.
If you buy the re-issue of the cd rather than the vinyl you get six bonus songs that begins with the original Single mix of My Sweet Rose that up until this re-issue was the only record I have by Rachel Stamp on Vinyl rather than CD or Cassette.
The main difference between the album and single versions of My Sweet Rose is that Shaheena's backing vocals are more prominent on the single as she sounds like she's mimicking Laurie Andersons Oh Superman, that and Robin seems to be hitting the cymbals a lot more.
Girl, Your Just A Slave To Your Man is full of the Bolan boogie and searing guitars as David makes clear that being a Slave To Your man is a very bad thing indeed, the explosive guitars and rumbling bass made this the perfect b-side to I Wanna Be Your Doll.
Black Tambourine is I think the version that was on Stampax and is another wondrous slice of glam magic with Will showing why he's such an in-demand guitar god on this song of heartbreak.
The bands cover of Carmelita the Warren Zeavon classic takes it into wonderfully reflective place with some delightful acoustic guitar with deep bass drum, keeping things good and sparse for this downhearted tale of being strung out on Heroin, for anyone who collects versions of this song this is a must have.
The live version of I Got The Worm from the Hymns For Strange Children tour is faster than the album version and gives an idea of the power and energy of the bands legendary live shows complete with audience noise in the breakdown as everyone starts signing I Got The Worm.
The Cd closes with the band covering Please Don't Touch live, another much covered classic, this is played in the style of Vice Squad's version, it's fast kinetic punk rock and roll with a totally rocking guitar solo from Will they really get to the core of the song.
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