The successes of this band and its pretty big importance in the 70s and 80s in all honours, I never really liked THE STRANGLERS too much and therefore think that I might be the exactly wrong one to review the new album. But I can call myself stubborn, because by now “Norfolk Coast” rotates in my player for the fifth time, yet the new material still just does not want to ignite, no matter what.
For die hard fans of the band the album should be a welcome reunion with the band, because if you believe the words of THE STRANGLERS, then “Norfolk Coast” is the freshest epos of the past few years. The long preparation time of two years is put as proof for that. Unfortunately I have a very hard time to agree with this, so let’s cut to the facts: The production is extremely fat for a Rock album with Folk tendencies and the two men on the knobs, Mark Wallis (TRAVIS, U2, TALKING HEADS, ...) and Dave Ruffy (Ex-RUTS), really did a great job here. The title track “Norfolk Coast“, “Big Thing Coming“, “Into The Fire“ and “Mime All Mime“ pack quite a pound and also appeal to a Metalhead like me. On the other side such kitschy tracks as “I’ve Been Wild“, “Dutch Moon“ or “Sanfte Kuss“ really are annoying. The keyboards that sound like fair organs take away a lot of fun and will let “Norfolk Coast” disappear in the depths of my collection for ever most probably.
I am sorry, but this just is not my “cup of tea“ and most probably never will. It doesn’t really help that “Norfolk Coast” is released via Roadrunner records, as this label normally always stands for heavy and qualitatively high standing music and always gets my full attention. This time it was a bust, at least for me. (Online March 26, 2004)