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Tuesday 10 September 2013

Reviews: Black Spiders, Reckless Love, The Jokers

Black Spiders: This Savage Land (Dark Riders)

The Black Spiders have balls, massive brass balls that AC/DC sang about see Balls. They are the type of band that play during a bar fight, the type of band that bring a knife to a gunfight and win (they even say as much on Teenage Knife Gang). They are sleazy, punky and raw as hell ready to punch you in the mouth and then drink a case of beer (or the other way round). This is the band's second full length album and it much like its predecessor it grabs you by the throat and doesn't let you go until you're a quivering mess. From the rip-snorting opening of Knock You Out which sums up what rock n roll is about, this moves into the punk spit in your eye attitude of Stick it To The Man. The band are all killer musicians but deliver the songs in a louche but amazingly focused style full of swagger but also substance. The three way guitar sound of frontman Pete Spiby, Andrew Lister and Mark Thomas is key to the band’s sound as it means they can add a lot of subtleties to their old school hard rock sound but the rhythm of Si Atkinson and Adam Irwin are determined to punch you in the guts. There is very little slow down, a band that don't really do ballads the nearest they get is the dreamy psychedelia of Put Love In It's Place but that breaks into a heavy chorus. However by and large this is another album of big, brash hard rock that Sabbath (Sleepy Demon), Motorhead (Trouble) and AC/DC (Raised By Wolves) did in their heyday but aimed at both their fans and the thousands of new fans discovering real hard rock. Black Spiders make no apologies and take no prisoners and they are all the better for it. 9/10  

Reckless Love: Spirit (Spinefarm)

Finland's Reckless Love are now onto their third album and they have continued to be the premier glam metal band who bring together all of the sounds of the 80's together in one place. From the guitar runs of Pepe who is part EVH part Mick Mars and can move from sleazy Sunset Strip riffs of Bad Lovin' or the crystalline AOR of Runaway Love. He is backed by the rhythm of Jalle and Hessu who show their mettle (or should that be metal?) on Metal Ass which has the hallmarks of Skid Row's Slave To The Grind. This is one of the major reasons I like Reckless Love as they are the sounds of an age distilled into one band but not a parody like Steel Panther, yes ok they do have their tongues in their cheeks on tracks like I Love Heavy Metal which is the band naming their influences to a Def Leppard style rhythm. Frontman Olli Herman has an excellent voice melding DLR (in looks and voice) and even has some Steve Perry in their in the ballads like Edge Of Our Dreams and the slow burning Hot Rain. Yes it's a dated sound but it's still fun and still very cool to listen to if you need a light relief and want to party. 7/10

The Jokers: Rock N Roll Is Alive (SPV)

The Jokers hail from the Northwest of England and it has been 5 years since their debut album hit the rock community with its bombastic brand of classic, hard and glam rock, the band were part Stones, part AC/DC, part T-Rex in one big rock and roll party. So after a long wait they have returned with their sophomore album and it moves the band more into a blues rock territory of early Zep and even Aerosmith. The album kicks off with the laidback rock of Silver City which wouldn't sound out of place coming out of a Cadillac on the Sunset Strip. The album has some cool riffs from guitarist Paul Hurst and bassist Simon Hurst, some brick house beats from drummer Chris Poole (who shows his prowess on the frenetic Night Driver) and the band have a diamond in vocalist Wayne Parry who sounds like a mix between Ian Gillan and Robert Plant especially on the title track which has some Page-like riffage and leads into the acoustic based Radio. Like I said the band are the epitome of a classic rock band full of bluesy riffs and swagger throughout and even though the glam influences of their debut are missing for the most part the band have made up for it with a lot of hard rocking songs filled with big hooks and tasty riffs and solos. The production to needs to be mentioned to as it's crystal clear and has a rich warm tone throughout. A band that draw on their influences rather than copy them The Jokers have created a very good follow up to their debut that will draw any fans of AC/DC with Let It Rock, Led Zeppelin with the title track and Free with Find My Way Home. If classic blues rock is your thing then you will love The Jokers who prove that British rock n roll is indeed alive! 8/10  

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