Stand and Deliver

Published on July 22nd, 2013

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With his new album, Adam Ant isn’t content to turn back the clock to his Reagan-era golden years, nor is he trying in vain to sound of-the-moment. Essentially, he’s ignoring the clock altogether, proffering an unpredictable set of songs with more genre-hopping than a Girl Talk set and existing doggedly outside of any “movement.” The first sign that Adam doesn’t much care with the larger music world thinks of him is the record’s title: The unwieldy, esoteric and probably pretentious Adam Ant is the BlueBlack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter. Try asking for that one in Best Buy. Seventeen tracks later, I still don’t know what the album is saying, but Adam’s journey traverses Bauhaus-like goth (“Stay in the Game”); Nirvana-style guitar crunch (“Hardmentoughblokes”); atmospheric psych-pop (“Dirty Beast”), swaggering, boozy Britpop (“Gunner’s Daughter,” “Shrink”); twangy country, no doubt influenced by the rocker’s lengthy sojourn in Tennessee (“Cool Zombie” and “How Can I Miss You”); and romantic balladry (“Vivienne’s Tears”). Finally, at the very end of the record, you get “Bullshit,” perhaps the only song that truly conjures the irascible, punky, insatiable Ant of yore.

Whether or not you comprehend this divisive new missive, it’s safe to say his August performance in Miami will tread pretty familiar territory, with edgy classics like “Strip,” “Whip in My Valise” and “Beat My Guest” joining the new material and even some vintage B-sides. Anyone who caught Adam’s show at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek last year saw a performer who, if not as light and lissome on his feet as he once was, still channels the passion he always had as a bona fide entertainer. Bedazzled in swashbuckling raiment, pulsating with deviant carnal energy, and flanked by beautiful, brooding female dancers, Adam is fully in his element. And with that strange batch of new songs to test out on old and new audiences alike, he’s no longer just a nostalgia act. Stand and deliver, Adam.

He plays at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com. ~ John Thomason

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