[22 January 2009]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
Don’t even think of calling The Answer a Led Zeppelin rip-off. At best, this Northern Ireland band is a carbon copy of Stillwater, the fictional, forgettable band from Almost Famous, blandly mimicking the blues-drenched riffing and Robert Plant-like screams, ultimately making it all a bland exercise. Coupled with a cushy opening slot for AC/DC, the Never Too Late EP is part of a huge publicity push in North America in anticipation of the band’s second album due in February, but all it turns out to be is 17 minutes of tepid Dad rock. “Never Too Late” is a painfully whitebread attempt at funk and soul (all that’s missing is the Gospel choir), new track “Highwater or Hell” is a Disturbed song masking as blooze, while “The Doctor” desperately attempts to sound as cool as Zep’s “You Shook Me”, but sounds painfully forced, the foursome desperate to impress. By the time the live performance of “Come Follow Me” rolls along (“Good eeeeeevening Tokeeyo citeeehhh!”), the Answer reaches a level of self-parody that we haven’t seen since the forgettable rise of late-‘80s jokes Kingdom Come.