It's said that familiarity breeds contempt, but there will always be exceptions to the rule, and such exceptions are often prevalent in the world of rock and roll.
Take The Quireboys for instance.
In this bands case the familiarity is something that we are happy to warmly embrace.
Would we really be impressed with them if they were to slip down a side road and throw in a vocal that wasn't a swaggering bourbon soaked one?
How about if the blind horse didn't understand that a nod is as good as a wink when it comes to playing some dirty sounding rhythm and blues?
How about a Quireboys album that didn't feature some honky tonk piano?
Would we really be open to Spike and the boys exploring new avenues?
I'll not be going out on a limb if I said we wouldn't be impressed with them wandering into pastures previously unexplored, and the reason for that is because they are one of those bands who simply shouldn't fuck with the formula.
It's not tired, it's not old, it's not irrelevant.
What they do is actually sort of timeless.
They are always going to reach out to an audience.
When you listen to a track like Mother Mary you fundamentally get it.
It's a song that given half a chance could draw reverential silence from a stadium sized crowd.
It could stun a rowdy mess of hollering rock and rollers into submissive communal worship.
In fact if it came out in the late seventies the band would probably still be filling stadia off the back of it.
Yes, it is that good, and it's not a singular anomaly on the 'Beautiful Curse' album as it's all rawk solid.
If the album was a map and each song was a destination then it wouldn't matter where you stuck a pin in it as it's going to be a place that you do want to visit, and not just once, but again and again.
This isn't a comeback as they didn't go anywhere, it's no return to form as they never lost it.
What it is, and I can comfortably say it, is another chapter in an already impressive story, and long may that story continue.