July 12, 2007

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Circus Diablo, Circus Diablo
Koch Records, 2007

Ex-Cult guitarist Billy Duffy no longer has to answer to — or beat up — Ian Astbury, hence he’s free to add a little English pomp to whichever bunch of L.A. scumbags strikes his fancy. Brett Scallions of Fuel and Buckcherry-like vocalist Billy Morrison should praise Allah every night for sending Duffy their way, as the crew is now in a position to give Velvet Revolver a run for the dollars of Harley-tee-shirted mamas and their recently paroled dates. A few plucks from Duffy are enough to turn most of these songs around and make them palatable, for example the thoughtful flourish he adds to “Restless,” which otherwise couldn’t have cut it as Skid Row album-filler. The foursome just signed on to take the Second Stage at this year’s Ozzfest (which hits Boston’s Tweeter Center on 8/20); they must surely be psyched about all the stone-faced neglect they’ll be receiving from the moshing sides of beef there to see Hatebreed and Behemoth. BEric W. Saeger