The Angels – Brothers, Angels and Demons (Album Review)

The Angels – Brothers, Angels and Demons
Released: Aug 4th, 2017

Line up:

Doc Neeson – vocals
John Brewster – guitar/vocals
Rick Brewster – guitar
Dave Gleeson – vocals

“Various lineups on different songs for remaining instruments.”

When the final history of Australian Rock and Roll is written in the future, The Angels will stand tall and proud as one of its great pioneers. They practically invented the pub rock scene, filling beer barns across the country and playing loud blistering rock and roll at an audience that was normally blind drunk and looking for a fast and good time.

And The Angels delivered on that. With frontman Doc Neeson’s formidable stage presence and the “tight as a drum” guitar playing of John and Rick Brewster, they were a live spectacle to behold. Honestly, if you saw them anytime between 1977 and 1988, you were in for a treat.

Appearances on Countdown and high rotation radio airplay ensured that The Angels would become the biggest band, and by 1978 were the highest paid band in the country. Their second album, Face To Face (1978) is a stone cold Aussie classic, and with regular singles like ‘Take a Long Line’, ‘No Secrets’ and the anthem ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?’ (No Way, Get Fucked, Fuck Off) still getting airplay on classic rock radio today guarantees that The Angels remain within the public’s consciousness. These songs are almost embedded into our DNA. And I’m sure some of our readers were conceived either after an Angels gig, or whilst one of their songs were playing.

So with a legacy like this, Brothers, Angels and Demons has been released with the promise that it is look at their career, and The Angels deserve a full box set retrospective; hits, rarities, live tracks you name it.

This album isn’t it.

Brothers, Angels and Demons contains 36 songs and not a hit amongst them. In fact, it’s a very curious collection from the WTF tracks to some absolute gold. The Angels started out as The Moonshine Jug and String Band and the first three songs are from that era, which makes for interesting, but hardly essential listening. Then the album features 7 songs from the Brewster Brothers which is a semi-acoustic band featuring John and Rick Brewster and their offspring, which is bewildering. It smacks of the Brewsters trying to get their music heard under the guise of an Angels release.

And weirder yet, we get 7 songs from the new incarnation of The Angels with Dave Gleeson on vocals, that were featured on the last Angels release, Take It To the Streets. Gleeson is one of Australia’s great front men and it’s not lost on him the size of the shoes he has to fill, but on an album that is supposed to be a retrospective of sorts, we’re 17 songs in to a 36 song set and I haven’t heard any of the great Neeson stuff yet.

Luckily from track 18 and ‘Night Comes Early‘ from the Keystone Angels era does this collection start to show promising signs, and indeed they are. These are album track and off cuts from the first few albums but by track 25, ‘Man There‘ the 80’s have set in; keyboards and saxophones (what is it with the 80’s and saxophones?) are included in the lineup and it’s when the Angels started trying to keep themselves on radio, and possibly still trying to kick that American market (they were called Angel City in the states and were influences on bands like Motley Crue, Guns N Roses and such but were never more than a cult band). The final track is a semi-acoustic version of a fan favourite, ‘Fashion and Fame’ but by then this collection has petered right out.

Every band goes through its ups and downs and The Angels were no exception. It was common knowledge that there were problems, even legal ones between Doc Neeson and the Brewster brothers as to the ownership of the band’s name and music and even though they reconvened in 2011, it was never the same. Credit goes to John and Rick Brewster who are keeping the flag flying but this collection is one of those that almost tries to take away the input of Doc. When you have one of the greatest frontmen Australian rock has ever had and you put 17 songs on a 36 song collection that don’t feature him, something’s amiss in my books.

The Angels deserve a full blown retrospective box set collection, lovingly curated with care and attention.

To paraphrase one of their greatest songs, ‘This Ain’t The One‘.

For die-hard Angels collectors only, and only if you have to own everything with The Angels logo on it.

angels album

The Angels – Brothers, Angels & Demons tracklisting

  1. Whitewash Station
  2. Save Me Some
  3. My Gal
  4. If You’re a Viper
  5. Do It Again
  6. She
  7. Lives of Grace
  8. Shadows Fall
  9. Passing Through
  10. Engine of the World
  11. Waiting For The Sun
  12. Wounded Healer
  13. There Comes A Time
  14. Talk the Talk
  15. I Come In Peace
  16. Call That Living
  17. Can’t Shake It
  18. Night Comes Early
  19. Alexander
  20. I’m Scared
  21. Back On You
  22. Into The Heat
  23. Shoot It Up
  24. Easy Prey
  25. Man There
  26. When The Time Comes
  27. Movin’ On
  28. Soul Surgeon
  29. Invisible Man
  30. World Stops Turning
  31. Straightjacket
  32. Outcast
  33. Dawn is Breaking
  34. After Dark (Skid Row cover)
  35. Love Takes Care
  36. Fashion and Fame

Rating: 4/10
Brothers, Angels & Demons is Out Now via Liberation Music. Get it here
Review by Dan Brixey (@DanielJBrixey)


The Angels are hitting the road with some very special guests at the end of 2017

agels tour.jpg

With special guests Diesel, MI-SEX, Hitmen DTK & Dave Wilson Band.

Fri 13 Oct | Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Special guest: MI-SEX | Ph: 136 100

Sat 14 Oct | Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Special guest: MI-SEX | Ph: 1300 111 369

Fri 20 Oct | Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Special guests: Diesel & MI-SEX | 132 849

Fri 27 Oct | The Palms at Crown, Melbourne, VIC
Special guest: | Ph: 136 100

Sat 28 Oct | The Palms at Crown, Melbourne, VIC 
Special guest: | Ph: 136 100

Fri 3 Nov | Country Club, Launceston, TAS 
Special guest: Dave Wilson Band | Ph: 1300 795 257

Sat 4 Nov | Wrestpoint Showroom, Hobart, TAS 
Special guest: Dave Wilson Band | Ph: 1300 795 257

Fri 10 Nov | Doyalson RSL, Cebtral Coast, NSW 
Special guests:  MI-SEX | Ph: (02) 4390 0622

Sat 11 Nov | Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville, NSW 
Special guests: MI-SEX | Ph: 1300 438 849

Fri 17 Nov | South West Rocks Country Club, South West Rocks, NSW | Ph: (02) 6566 6252

Sat 18 Nov | Laurieton United Services Club, Laurieton, NSW | Ph: (02) 6559 9110

Fri 24 Nov | Panthers Penrith, Penrith, NSW 
Special guests: Hitmen DTK | Ph: 132 849

Sat 25 Nov | Waves, Wollongong, NSW 
Special guests: Hitmen DTK | Ph: 1300 438 849

Fri 1 Dec | Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, QLD 
Special guests: MI-SEX | Ph: 1300 762 545 

Sat 2 Dec | Nightquarter, Gold Coast, QLD 
Special guests: MI-SEX | 1300 762 545

More Info Here

1 Comment on The Angels – Brothers, Angels and Demons (Album Review)

  1. Andrew McCutchan // February 2, 2018 at 5:50 pm //

    I was really excited to see this new collection, but excitement quickly turned to dismay. I agree with the review and think 4/10 is generous, too generous! Don’t waste your time and money on this.

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