Juliette & The Licks - Four On The Floor

Thomas 29/10/2006

Rating: 3/5

“FUCK YOU!! FUCK YOU!! FUCK YOOOUUU!!!” screams Juliette Lewis on 'Death Of A Whore', on of the standouts on her band's second LP, and somehow manages to highlight the problem many will still have listening to her music: how can she be taken seriously as angry, 'real', or rock n roll when we've all seen her in movies with Woody Harrelson and suspect she has a fondness for yoga and macrobiotic diets? This sadly proves to be a dilemma the album can't solve, but whilst gamely brushing the issue to one side it also delivers a big, bass-driven punch to the chest, offering enough old-school thrills and spills to please old rockers and indie kids alike.

Opening brace 'Smash and Grab' and 'Hot Kiss' are AC/DC with ovaries, The Datsuns without the widdling, all shouty boy backing vocals and frankly the best five minute soundtrack to drinking and fucking you'll hear all year. Things then come a little unstuck with the unsure 'Sticky Honey' before the ace punk rush of 'Killer' nails things back on track. And then comes 'Death Of A Whore'; brooding as well as bruising, it takes repeated listens to fully take in the unflinching storytelling and shifts of light and shade not found anywhere else on the record. In fact the second side then proves to be something of a mixed bag, the goodtime 'Get Up' flicks its hair into place but doesn't stretch for the sky, while some deliciously breathy, curled-lip vocals on 'Inside the Cage' lead only to a dull, dead end chorus.

So it's three out of five time; a record's that unlikely to change lives, but with flashes of simple brilliance and a few hidden depths, it'll probably sound good live and age very well indeed. Maybe one to catch up with on the band's forthcoming tour then, or in twenty years time when Juliette's playing Ben Stiller's new girlfriend in Meet The Parents 47. Really, it's your choice.