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Following the unprecedented darkness of their previous effort, The Barbarellatones lighten up a bit for an album that most clearly defines their unique outsider sound.
Under the direction of mad maestro Robbie Quine, Glitter Train perfectly blends comedic psychedelic gothabilly with the more heartfelt glam sound they’ve come to embrace. “Psychedelic Freakout,” “How to Rock,” “Bring It!” and the title track all celebrate music nerdom with the gusto of one who has lived vicariously through music all his life. “Breakup from Hell,” “A Hustler’s Song” and “Rear View Mirror,” however, address the more serious topics of relationships, loneliness and loss, respectively, while ballads like “Ragyna” and, especially, “Priscilla & the Pyronauts” blend high drama with Russ Meyer storytelling. Elsewhere, Robbie flaunts his silliness with songs like “Pig Ears,” “It Came from Beyond” and “Cosmic Two-Step.” Through it all, he retains a strange Bowie vibe that ranges from Station to Station (RCA, 1975) to Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (RCA, 1980), both vocally and in the distinctive Carlos Alomar guitar tone, with a bit of Iggy Pop here and there.
What separates Robbie Quine from his peers is his compulsive need to record. Whether four or four million people hear it, he’ll continue to lay songs to tape simply because he has to for his own sanity. He doesn’t do it for us; this is his trip, so join the ride and see where it goes.
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