Greatest Hits Volume 5 (Southern Lord)
by Brian Varney
Kingdom Come, move over! Not since that band’s “heyday” has any band attempted such a bald-faced Led Zeppelin cop. Well, The Want also throw in some Paul Rodgers-styled vocal phrasings for the occasional change-up, but there’s no mistaking whose band logo these guys spent their high school years drawing on their notebooks.
According to the jacket, this stuff was recorded in 1996 and 1997. The fact that this was recorded so long ago and yet remained unknown to everyone I asked led me to believe that this was some sort of studio-rat solo project. The liner notes, however, credit a full four-piece band, so apparently The Want is a living, breathing rock machine. And, yes, they do rock. I’ve made this record seem like a dress-up party and, to a certain extent, it is. But they’re dressing up like a band I like and they’re doing a good job of approximating, if not resurrecting, the mighty Zep.
For a band so obviously hell-bent on paying tribute to their favorite band, The Want do it right. They don’t lift any of Zeppelin’s songs or riffs. The mix is odd and distant-sounding, so this doesn’t even particularly SOUND like the Zeppelin records. And yet the similarity is unquestionably there. When singer Kenneth Leer unleashes the “I’m on the prowl!” chorus of album opener “Supertoker,” it’s stupid enough to make me think of Robert Plant, and the ferocity with which the band attacks the songs brings Page, Jones, and Bonham to mind, but even still, these rather faint similarities are hardly enough to call The Want plagiarists, you know?
There’s not much else to say about The Want. Is Greatest Hits Volume 5 a great record? Probably not. Do I like listening to it? Yes. A lot. Will I still be playing it in 5 years? Who cares? I’ll worry about that when I come to it. For now, I’m on the prowl, yeah!!
(PO Box 291967 Los Angeles, CA 90029)