Giuda: Speaks Evil

The evil that uomini do.

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Beloved of fans of junk-shop glam – the handful of people who make knowing comments such as “That song of theirs reminds me of Merlin” (and we ain’t talkin’ King Arthur) – Italy’s Giuda have undergone a subtle shift in direction for this, their third album.

Perhaps taking inspiration from their punk-rock background (they were born from the ashes of Euro gob-rockers Taxi), the bovver-booted Romani have stripped back their sound to rock’n’roll basics.

Oddly, this has had the effect of repositioning their music in the mainstream of the UK’s Fab 40 of the early to mid-70s. So instead of recalling glitter-cheeked losers such as Jook and Iron Virgin, Giuda now sound more akin to Mud and the Bay City Rollers.

Nowhere is this more evident than on the drape-jacketed, crêpe-soled shuffle of Bad Days Are Back and the jaunty, tartan-scarved summertime anthem It Ain’t Easy. Needless to say, this is irresistible stuff that demands to be listened to while twerking in a 70s style (Steve Priest pout on your face; mock-surprise eyes à la the disgraced Gary Glitter).

Other standouts include the star-studded shambolicism of Mama Got The Blues; Watch Your Step, with its rattling handclap rhythm; and Working Class Man, which recalls Status Quo playing Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky. This was so nearly a 1010 but we’ve docked a point due to the surprise absence of a butterfingered Chicory Tip-style keyboard solo.

Geoff Barton

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.