Sunday, 6 October 2013

Quality Street / Review by Lestyn George / NME 1991

NME - 26 October 1991

Quality Street

THREE MISS-HIT singles down the line, Mancunian pop conceptualists World Of Twist are prime candidates for the unenviable mantle of this season's Blue Rondo A LaTurk. Emerging during the summer of '90, their cunning, self-initiated PR campaign was swallowed whole by those searching for an alternative to the blissed-out baggies of Madchester and, in all the furore, someone forgot to listen to the demo.

Nevertheless,'The Storm'- a veritable synth-salvo - was the kind of promising start which stood out well against the myriad 'Fool's Gold' replicas. 'Quality Street' too is crammed with fine ideas, from the excellent sleeve art to the band's musical affection for 'Rubber Soul' era Beatles, the tacky pop harmonies of The Fifth Dimension and The Human League. In execution, however, there is an overwhelming listlessness to most tracks, partly due to Tony Ogden's dispirited vocal performance and The Grid's limp production, ruining potential show stoppers like 'This Too Shall Pass Away' and 'Jellybaby'.

Elsewhere, they're reduced to producing unremarkable prog-rock numbers replete with crap drum breaks ('Sons Of The Stage') and unconvincing New Order impressions ('The Lights'). Even the otherwise excellent 'Speed Wine' fizzles out instead of building up to a fitting crescendo. It's left to 'Sweets', endearingly cIumsy with MacAloon-ish vocal inflections, to produce the album's finest three minutes.

'Quality Street' is not an appalling record - but it is more peanut cracknel than noisette triangle. And in this small investment, quick-returns climate, that means they may never get a second bite.


Lestyn George

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