"CLIFF JONES PERFORMS self-fellatio!" and "The band is manufactured!" squawk British rock rags about latest hot things Gay Dad. The London five-piece strenuously claims to be not at all manufactured, but it's hard denying an air of Monkee business surrounding this brainchild of singer and ex-music journalist Cliff Jones. Anyway, apart from a quasi-provocative moniker and the tabs' curiously predictable response, Gay Dad's debut album seems hardly worth fussing over.
In fact, Leisure Noise could best be described as carefully edited tabloid rock: outsize, glossy, easily digestible, and ultimately disposable. Its pop regurgitates elemental Seventies AM-rock, replete with a simpering falsetto, maudlin lyrics, ambisexual glam, and muscular guitar segues. Jones evokes Bowie (on "Black Ghost"), nods to Lou Reed (on "My Son Mystic"), and channels Freddie Mercury (rather eerily on "Oh Jim"). But Gay Dad's conceptualized nostalgia isn't the problem; it's that Jones insists on discussing it in song. "Come on, put your platforms on," he yelps on "To Earth With Love." On "Dateline" he even whines, "Started feeling blue back in 1972." Best to savor the ephemeral pleasures of Leisure Noise before it winds up balled in the corner like last season's flared trousers. It won't be long till the Brit-rock buzzards have found fresh flesh and we all discover another decade for our new fad.