Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This week, we break out some Pistols, pull the Trigger, dive into the Sees, go back in time for a monTage, hit the Accelerator and find out what happens when the Scorpions drummer gets into Attack mode.
Words: Malcolm Dome
For a while, Gentlemans Pistols have been among the very best bands in the UK. Their retro blues-rock, laced with stoner grooves and a real sensibility for early 1970s style is beautifully showcased on At Her Majesty’s Pleasure (Rise Above), which is the best album they’ve recorded so far. Certainly among the finest releases of 2011 so far.
If anyone recalls Scissorfight, with affection, then Triggerman might assuage some of the disappointment over the former’s recent absence from the international scene. Scissorfight have always claimed their music to be acid mountain rock, so the same description will do for this band from Derry in Ireland. They have the same ability to shake out a flaming riff, liberally dose it in a metal ethic and then hurtle the resulting massive moningstar into orbit. Brand New Day is a formidably foaming and feral flash. Find out more at www.reverbnation.com/triggermanrocks
Italians appear to have a stronger grasp of progressive metal than most. And Deep Black Sees are obviously an accomplished group of musicians. On the plus side Inside Outside (Rising Records) has a sophisticated and complex musical approach. The sole problem is that on occasion, the band lack the self-control to focus and are easily carried away. Still, many will find that admirable.
Savatage have released some truly stupendous albums in their underrated career. But neither Fight For The Rock nor Dead Winter Dead would be among these. Both have now been reissued by earMUSIC, and really should be avoided. Fight For The Rock was originally put out in 1986, and the band regard it as their worst album. It’s insipid pop-rock. Dead Winter Dead came out in 1995. In some ways it’s a blueprint for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, yet is more dull than epic.
Virgil & The Accelerators sound like they want t be a cross between Tom Petty and the Rolling Stones. Actually, The Radium (Mystic) proves this can work, because they concentrate on making sure the songs are well structured. But you know what? They make you realise that Southside Johnny had this sort of thing totally in his back pocket. And these boys aren’t quite good enough to pick his pocket.
Kottak is a chance for Scorpions drummer James Kottak to stretch out. The album Attack (SAOL) isn’t at all bad, being a mix of rock ’n’ roll, arena anthems and a bit of punk attitude. But nothing really grabs you and makes you feel that the drummer has made full use of any time away from the Scorps. In reality, it is a vanity project and while it’s far from rubbish, it’s also not exactly essential.
Tags: Deep Black Sees, Gentlemans Pistols, James Kottak, Kottak, Rolling Stones, Savatage, Scissorfight, Scorpions, Southside Johnny, Tom Petty, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Triggerman, Virgil & The Accelerators