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Houston: Relaunch

Soft-centred Swedes rifle through the AOR songbook.

It’s a brave band who cover Michael Bolton in 2012. But then Houston have built a career on resurrecting the unresurrectable.

The follow-up to last year’s fluffier-than-a-blow-dried-shih-tzu debut finds the bouffanted duo paying tribute to their influences via half-a-dozen admirably cult-ish covers.

Their ticklish take on Bolton’s 1983 gem Carrie is just the tip of this Aquanet-frosted iceberg; they bank melodic rock brownie points with suitably lush interpretations of Airrace’s Brief Encounter and minor 1980 US hit Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya, by Kiss associates New England.

What saves it from being AOR Karaoke – albeit of the consummate variety – is their own new song, Without Your Love, a delicious duet with Amaranthe’s Elize Ryd that utterly validates the Swedes’ obsession with unearthing lost treasures from the dustier corners of the AOR attic.

It’s a world of irony out there. But Houston mean it, man.