Gentlemans Pistols – Hustler’s Row (Nuclear Blast)Tuesday, 29th September 2015
Probable that this UK band’s swing to Nuclear Blast from their Rise Above beginnings has a lot to do with Carass guitarist Bill Steer’s involvement as the second guitarist – but based on this third album Hustler’s Row and its contents, Gentlemans Pistols are deserving of this larger label windfall. Originating as a three-piece 12 years ago, they’ve released numerous albums and 7 inches, expanded to a quartet, and deliver a throwback sound much in line with heavy rock/boogie bluesy bands from the 1970’s.
Plunging into a lot of dual guitar harmony licks and thick grooves that give off a Led Zeppelin meets Thin Lizzy vibe, there is also a bit of that Status Quo boogie effect going on. Gargantuan chord combinations that leave the listener tapping their feet make “Time Wasters” and “Personal Fantasy Wonderland” early favorites on the front half of this record. Bill and vocalist/guitarist James Atkinson thrust and volley in terms of their guitar duties, supplementing and complimenting based on the individual needs of the song: intertwining quick twin runs for “Private Rendezvous”, building a little bit more of a Southern Rock meets British finesse flavor on the quick hitting “Coz of You” or throwing acoustic twinges into the electric mix for the moody title track (the main riff a twin to the Maiden classic “Revelations”).
The tone and production values surely embody that classic spirit and spunk – the warmth present is not digitally squashed, and the urgency aids the appeal. Remember the Rush records circa Caress of Steel? Or the first four Zeppelin records? That’s what you get – more of a plug in and interplay aspect from the quartet that keeps the hooks in your head for days and weeks on end. We all know that classic hard rock endures – and there are plenty of musicians who wish to generate new music in this retro-style. Gentlemans Pistols need to be added to that ‘watch for’ list because of their easy going, catchy nature.