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12 Gauge - 'All In' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/43/cf/9b/12-gauge-all-in-3-1421525044.jpg Hot

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If you're a lover of riff-laden Heavy Rock, then buy this album, live with it, absorb it ... and you will be rewarded.

Hallelujah!! Let's all raise our heads and hands to the sky and praise the Lord of Rock for continuing to produce bands, especially young and hungry ones, who deliver music we so frantically crave; and 12 Gauge is the latest manna from Heaven. Formed within the North-West of England in 2012, J. Michael Ward (vocals), Ian "Jonno" Johnson (lead guitar), Mike Pilat (guitar – recently replaced by Lew Hornby), Andy Waite (bass) and Graham "Gee" Bennett (drums) have delivered a debut of which they should be extremely proud. 'All In' immediately states their intentions, bares their souls and offers huge optimisms for the future of Heavy Rock.

Seamlessly bridging the gap between the early 1970s behemoths like Mountain, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin et al and their 21st century counterparts such as Alterbridge, Shinedown and Black Stone Cherry, TG waste no time at all in letting the listener have it... with both barrels!!

The opening three-pronged sonic onslaught of 'Sins Of The Flesh', 'Touch Me' and 'Tomorrow Comes Your Way' is quite remarkable, and is conveyed by a rhythm section not dissimilar to a stampede of horny bull elephants, with Waite and Bennett orchestrating the charge as if their very existence depended on it. Of these three monsters, 'Touch...' is the unquestionable highlight; due to its commercial edge, rousing chorus and chuggeriffic (!!) riffing; it's already one of my favourite songs of 2014.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Because of this brain-bashing barrage the only negative of the album is highlighted – I'm not saying Ward's vocals are weak; not by any means. His delivery at times can often be likened to David Coverdale, whilst at others he adopts a more Billy Gibbons approach, but whichever style he adopts he appears a tad low in the mix – a travesty, but one I'm sure they will address and rectify for the future.

Another bone-crunching ditty, 'Hell To The Morning' sits mid-album and perfectly accentuates the duel guitar interplay between Johnson and Pilat; its stirring, anthemic chorus is guaranteed to worm its way into your psyche. If there are any doubts over Ward's vocals, then TG's more passion-drenched, lighters-in-the-air (no, make that flamethrowers) songs, like 'Take Me Back' and 'Little Things' certainly quash them. 'From The Ashes' is another of this ilk and allows Johnson to rise up like a fret-frenzied phoenix and deliver another stunning guitar break. The stampede continues unrelenting to the very end, with the infectious 'All My Lovin'' being another personal favourite. 'Rollin'' and 'Failed Star' finally bring the curtain down in a resounding and thunderous fashion.

Seriously folks, if you're a lover of riff-laden Heavy Rock, then buy this album, live with it, absorb it... and you will be rewarded!

Dave Crompton

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