Gentleman's Pistols: Hustler's Row (Nuclear Blast)
After a few years away the Leeds based retro rockers come back in glorious form with yet another album of their 70's boogie rock, from a time where rockers were clad in string vests and corduroy flared trousers. With nods to Wishbone Ash, Humble Pie, Atomic Rooster and even to the proto-NWOBHM of bands such as Budgie, Gentleman's Pistols started out with a rocking and rolling debut fit for the pub scene, getting down and dirty in small venues, it was a short sharp shock to the system chock full of dual guitar melodies, boogie riffs and sweet hip shaking solos. On their second album and with a bit of shifting they managed to bring the Carcass, Napalm Death and a man who is no stranger to the sounds of the 70's with his band Firebird; Bill Steer, Steer made them a heavier prospect taking them nearer to NWOBHM sound that has infected their sound since. Since then there has been much maligned problems with the band, James Atkinson has had personal issues that have taken him away from the music scene.
However after four years they have come back with a new album and a new bassist, in the shape of man mountain Rob Threapleton (who doesn't actually play on the record, as the bass work is done by Martyn Roper) however it is only the line up that has changed as the music itself starts where the last record ended. The Searcher kicks off with a big slamming riff to get things moving at pace, in in an almost The Who-like rattle and hum and a power chord attack. The two guitars working in unison to weave some magic on the first track onwards, they are at their most evident on the Wishbone Ash style Devil's Advocate On Call, before the punky Lizzy-like Private Rendezvous keeps things filthy and flirty something that also happens on Lady Teaser and Personal Fantasy Wonderland both of which keep the tongue in cheek lady killer attitude the band have adopted since the beginning of their career. The album flies by at a killer pace with only the final title track slowing things down enough to really stop the flow but this is lazy stoner track that adds a dash of psychedelia to things in the dying throes of the record. Gentleman's Pistols are a band that are still in their infancy but with Hustler's Row they have really taken a leap forward, can't wait to see them supporting Orange Goblin next month. 8/10
RAM: Svbversvm (Metal Blade Records)
RAM are a traditional metal band from Sweden and as such they sound like loads of other traditional metal bands from Sweden, I'm talking denim and leather covered NWOBHM-aping with screeching vocals, scything guitars and chest beating anthems about metal and it's wonder. Svbversvm is their fourth album and yet again they haven't strayed from their previous album's sound, most of this album is in the Judas Priest, Accept, Exciter, Mercyful Fate mold with with similarities to fellow countrymen Wolf, Enforcer and Portrait (who RAM released a split with in 2006). The first two tracks on this album speed by in flash of guitar heroics and thrashing riffage before The Usurper has a chunky, slower feel that sounds like The Scorpions at their rockiest. This is the slowest track on the album, with the bouncy Holy Death having a Slayer vibe to it due to the doom laden style, frequent changes of pace and the explosive solo that comes out of nowhere has Kerry King written all over it. Enslaver speeds things back up, the intro Terminus moves into 80's tastic The Omega Device which could have come off Turbo Lover. RAM do what they do very well with a classic NWOBHM sound coupled with modern productions and a little bit thrash and hard rock thrown in. They've managed to make their best album yet, so if you like your metal with a nod to the past then RAM will definitely do it for you, get your high tops and bullet belts and rock out folks. 8/10
Fuel Eater: Centralia (Self Released)
The sheer wealth of metal from Greece is enough to fill a blog of it's own, much like the metal output of Sweden it seems every week another Greek band comes onto our radar here at the musipedia. Greek metal tends to come in three very distinct categories, power/traditional metal, black/death metal and stoner/doom metal, it's this last genre that Fuel Eater falls into, in fact so much so that when you listen to the crunching, crawling, sludgy King Of The Desert Utopia you'd be forgiven if you thought it was the new Down record, the four instrumental members of the band Thanos Dritsas (guitar/vocals), Vasilis Koutsompinas (drums), Marios Sen (bass) like it low, slung and heavy worshipping at the altar of Sabbath, Clutch, Kyuss, Sleep etc while the singer Gordon Kansas is doing his best Anselmo with the NOLA bile in full effect. The songs on this record are not the fastest of numbers, so thrashers may want to look away, neither are they particularly groundbreaking but his isn't the point. This album is for the riff worshipping heshers and the record is chocked full of big riffs and noodling basslines that will go very well with 'special cigarettes' of your choice. Fuel Eater couple traditional stoner rock licks with warm production and because of this they are more than worth you time Centralia is nine tracks of thunderous stoner groove with 9 minute spacey Rainfall Redemption splitting the album well. Fuel Eater are yet another quality band from Greece if you love your riffs then you'll love this!! 7/10