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Gentlemans Pistols - 'Hustler's Row' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/39/7f/7d/gentlemans-pistols-hustlers-row-12-1449774603.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 10, 2015    
 
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They are back with a bang with an album that could quite easily blow you away.

It's been four years since 'At Her Majesty's Pleasure' was making an impact for Gentlemans Pistols and receiving a serious amount of critical acclaim. Four years is a long time in most walks of life but in music, for other than the biggest names around, it can quite literally be a life time. So signed by a big name label in Nuclear Blast, 'Hustlers Row' has maybe got a bit of catching up to do for the band.

And I'm pleased to say it does so with ease. The band's style hasn't changed, there's no great surprises here; guitar-heavy Rock with a feel of classic 1970's Led Zeppelin and The Who type riffs, a touch of straight forward Boogie, all coming from the excellent guitar pairing of main-man James Atkinson and lead work of Bill Steer.

Right from the off 'The Searcher' hits you with big fat wall of sound followed up with 'Devil's Advocate On Call'. And it's the impressive guitar work that makes this album what it is. This is good old fashioned, guitar dominated Rock; no frills, nothing fancy, just Rock guitar as it's always meant to be. Whether its rhythm and lead complimenting each other or both players working in tandem, the pair hit it off with ease.

'Time Wasters' sees Steer's lead licks throughout the song highlighting a solid riff with a feel of early – very early – Kiss, whereas 'Private Rendezvous' has the sort of twin harmony mid-section that became synonymous with Thin Lizzy. But much as the two guys work so well together, the revelation for me really is Steers lead work.

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If I liken his playing to Michael Schenker and John Norum, there's no higher praise in my book. Fast and pacey where needed, he can let rip without having to resort to over-speed shredding, whilst still incorporating bags of feel and emotion at the same time, typified by 'Stress And Confusion'; an atmospheric slow Blues number, building towards a stunning solo to end.

The tight team of Stuart Dobbins on drums and relative newcomer Robert Threapleton on bass hold things together allowing Atkinson and Steer to work their magic together. My only minor criticism would be that whilst this is unashamedly a guitar-based album, the vocals do seem a little muffled in the mix and could maybe benefit from being a more prominent in the overall sound.

It may have been a four year absence – and with apologies in advance for the puns – Gentlemans Pistols are back with a bang with an album that could quite easily blow you away.

Ian Parry

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