Status Quo - Backbone

Status Quo Backbone cover
Status Quo
Backbone
earMusic
2019
7.5
Believe it or believe it not, “Backbone” is Status Quo’s thirty-third album. If one dismisses the acoustic albums they did and the soundtrack – it’s also the first real album in a while and most importantly the first one without Rick Parfitt, who sadly died in 2016.
 
Richie Malone, the fella that has been filling up for him in 2016 due to his health issues, has taken over and obviously – in all cases where a classic band member is replaced, there’s a reasonable amount of doubt and trepidation… however in the case of the Quo, things sound as Quo as they ever did…
 
“Waiting for s Woman” is somewhat coyly, dipping its toes in the water, just trying to figure things, but offering more than a glimmer of promise, then as soon as “Cut Me Some Slack” rumbles in, it’s business as usual.
 
“Liberty Lane” is a little more akin to the band early days; a more 60s sound about it… but then again the band has been around since that era, so it’s not as if they’re faking it. Plus it’s catchy, so who gives a damn about the details.
 
“I See You’re in Some Trouble” is a little more timid at first, but quickly finds its footing and boogies around the clock.
 
“Backing Off” is a little rockier, but its riff is as classic as the Acropolis.
 
“I Wanna Run Away with You” is some fine rock ‘n roll, like the used to make it and again… these guys come from the era, so it’s as genuine as it could.
 
The title track, “Backbone”, is a little more cheery and breezy that what one might have expected, a bit more Small Faces or The Stones, than one’d expect, but it’s still pretty much recognizable as prime time Quo.
 
“Better Take Care” keeps on with the feelgood factor while boggy-woogieing along, as fine a moment as any on offer here.
 
“Falling off the World” has some pretty cool riffs a nice solo and in general, the undeniable ability to get you grooving instantly.
 
On “Get out of My Head” things pick up and its sweet harmonies in the background make it quite the bit of good fun.
 
Likewise, “Running out of Time” has even more harmonies going on and doesn’t disappoint not one bit.
 
The bonus tracks “Crazy Crazy” and “Face the Music” on the deluxe edition, do stray a bit from the straight and narrow Quo canon; the first being a bit folk/americana inspired, and the latter not so much, but sounding a bit more American overall. They’re both good fun.
 
Answering a question never asked, whether they still got what it takes to keep rocking on, Quo are loudly and emphatically preemptively silencing any detractors by proving they have the backbone.