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Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: October 16, 2015
The last few years the heavy music landscape has been littered with the bodies of bands who have tried to revive the classic sounds of 70s rock. Some have reached the top of the hill to claim the flag of greatness, while others have died a recognizable, but not altogether satisfying death. Gentlemans Pistols is undoubtedly one of best bands to bring back the 70s rock sound and make it entertaining and enjoyable to today’s hard rock buying public. Their third release, Hustler’s Row, is full of the sounds of Britain’s best heavy bands of days gone by. There are more than a few Deep Purple, Free and Thin Lizzy influences on this album, but beyond the recognizable style their forebears, Gentlemans Pistols adds excellent production and energetic performances.
Hustler’s Row opens with a riff so classic it could grace any AC/DC album, moving quickly into Deep Purple territory. “The Searcher” kicks off the album with a heavy dose of swagger and upbeat rock. Singer/guitarist James Atkinson uses his melodic voice to great effect, bringing just enough gravel into his performance to keep it edgy. He and Bill Steer (Carcass) create harmonized guitar lines that were last heard on your favorite classic rock radio station. “Devil’s Advocate On Call” brings back all the bluesy fun that bands like Free used to make rock exciting. Both the dual guitar attack and blues influences come into play on the album’s epic eight minute long closing track “So Long Fade Away.”
What makes this release so easy to listen to is the familiarity of these sounds. Growing up in a home where Deep Purple, Bad Company, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were in regular rotation it’s easy to fall into the groove that Gentlemans Pistols have created. “Dazzle Drizzler” reminds me a bit of Black Sabbath’s legendary debut, particularly in its powerful drumming. “Private Rendezvous” shows the clear link between 70s hard rock and modern heavy metal, melding the mixing of the former with the power of the latter. Despite the fact that these songs are built on the firm foundation of classic hard rock/heavy metal sounds, the performances are fresh and energetic.
Gentlemans Pistols stand out as an example of excellence in their genre. Not only do they draw influence from the best of the best, but they bring their own cocksure approach that gives Hustler’s Row balls and swagger. This release took me by surprise, grabbing my attention and keeping me enthralled even after several listens.
Reviewed by Jim 1340