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Front Page News album review - NME, October 1977

After the band’s 'crises' of a couple of years back, when they came close to breaking up, it’s good to see them following 'New England' with another fine album. That’s what 'Front Page News' is, and no more. It shows the band in two styles, one like the earlier Wishbone Ash of Argus and the other with a softer (some might say bland) bluesy sound. The title track reminds me of Fleetwood Mac, particularly Martin Turner’s rather flat vocals, which suit the mood of the song perfectly.

 

'Midnight Dancer' is another sound alike; this time it’s Crosy Stills and Nash - but none the worse for that. And the third track 'Goodbye Baby Hello Friend' is reminiscent of something else which escapes me. I was beginning to wonder if the band had set out to produce an album of mimicry, but 'Surface to Air' brings their distinctive double guitars to the front, although I thought it was a bit empty and contrived at first hearing. 'Come In From the Rain' and 'Right or Wrong' revert to the old Wishbone Ash style, but 'Heart Beat' loses the tightness again (intentionally, I’m sure) and veers towards the slower, blues feel; it never seems to make it, though, and gets rather lost. 'Diamond Jack', the final track, has more power than anything on the album with its driving bass and lead guitar, played with restraint and precision. Perfect.