British but based in New York, Spacehog's publicity material would have you believe the group resurrects the glam heyday of vintage Bowie and Mott the Hoople (even disingeniously referring to them as "the band who fell to earth"). It's all well and good to set your sights high, but the hype creates expectations that Resident Alien is incapable of delivering, despite the blatant Ziggy Stardust vocal inflections of "Starside" and "Zeroes." There's no doubt that this awkwardly-named combo attack their chosen retro-glam vocation with panache, flash, and good humor, but there's ultimately not a lot of substance behind the theatrical pose and fat Gibson runs. With few exceptions (there's no denying the preening bulls-eye of "Never Coming Down") the songwriting tends to be fairly frothy. Still, I'd take a dose of Resident Alien any day over yet another cold dish of serious, mystically dour, faux-acid rock Doors/Led Zep wannabes. Ironically, by homogenizing the Brit-glam sound in their manner, Spacehog may just succeed in bridging to U.S. audiences who often have difficulty relating to the "Britishness" of the latest U.K. wave.
Resident Alien Review
by Roch Parisien