Susan Hyatt - Pin-ups & Trumpets album review

Strumpet with a trumpet.

Susan Hyatt Pin-ups & Trumpets album cover

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The latest from Susan Hyatt, self-confessed ‘rock chick’ and frontgal of the bands Pillbox and Stimulator, is full of cover versions and celebrates the favourite songs of her youthhood.

Nothing unusual there, you might say. But think again; the clue is in the album’s title. Said songs are awash with parping trumpet, courtesy of one Zack Leffew, and mix sparse indie rock with jazzy flavours and sleazy female vocals. This somewhat nonsensical approach shouldn’t work but somehow it does; it’s a three-way whammy.

The opening track, Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare, is reminiscent of Bassey belting out a Bond tune and is impossibly entertaining. Judas Priest’s Breaking The Law evokes visions of Rob Halford reclining on a Chesterfield in a musty gentlemen’s club, quaffing vintage brandy and sucking on a cheroot. Personal Jesus injects the jittering Depeche Mode original with horse tranquiliser; Mötley Crüe’s helter-skelter Looks That Kill is transformed into a sultry sashay down the Strip.

The only criticism is that there are a mere nine covers; it could’ve done with twice that. For all its merits, Pin-ups & Trumpets will likely have a limited appeal; nevertheless Ms Hyatt will be in pole position should an Eddie Calvert revival happen any time soon.

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.