Saturday, 30 April 2016

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em (2014) / 85%

I like big butts and I can not lie

This English trio possibly has the best band name to ever exist. I dig their fringe historical reference to this British navy officer who died in a shipwreck in 1705 (thanks Wikipedia) and I must say that I was already sold just by looking at their name, album cover (in this case, their solid debut album) and the overall aesthetics of those three vintage weirdos lead by Johnny Gorilla. It turns out their music just freaking rocks so it’s a win-win situation.

One of the main components of their music is how it’s so effortlessly fun and trashy (note: not "thrashy") it is. Their blend of hard hitting psychedelic hard rock, heavy metal and some doomy stoner influences truly hits the spot. Their riffs and bass lines are groovier than Austin Powers on a new brand of extremely potent acid. I’m in constant grin mode while listening to the ten songs of this record, it’s irreverent, puerile and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The ode to curvy women “The Thicker The Better” is a good example of their approach. Like many bands evolving in the vintage metal/rock revival (a movement now out of breathe), they don’t lack balls. I mean as they’re probably busy playing with theirs and those of their mates all day long, They really know how to integrate this abstract element to their sound. Their balls are cleaner this time around though, the production isn’t as raw as on their debut but the bluesy goodness is still quite present. There’s no tricks, there’s only one guitar and no extra tracks added, the playing is flashy yet totally unrefined (in a good way), I like how sometimes it just goes into jam territories and the soloing and riffs just can’t stop bludgeoning you. I'd like some more extended numbers where they'd go completely insane though

It’s so sleazy that Lemmy’s corpse would probably nod and drink another whiskey to celebrate. Gorilla is definitely inspired by the late singer in the way he sings but he’s still cleaner and the compositions of the Admiral are more varied than most of what Motorhead ever did (excluding the excellent 1916). He alternates between lead guitar and vox well and there’s a good balance between all the elements and instruments. If you’re a power trio, you obviously need a strong rhythm section and Louis and Bill are solid as hell. The drums are loud and the bass is as thick as Siri, the mix is perfect and puts the emphasis on all the right things at all time.

They’re not simply rehashing the good old days of Cream and Hendrix even if it sounds vintage. I was able to distinguish some elements that made them a modern band that just enjoys playing
their music like it’s 1972 while hanging out with Budgie and Sir Lord Baltimore (do I sense an inspiration for their name here?). It’s mostly in the riffs and the heaviness but you can tell they’re from our era even if they wear bell bottoms! I also feel they're combining the 60s and the 70s together to create this sort of proto-metal feel and that's highly enjoyable.

From the slow psych solo-heavy final of the eight minutes epic “Captain Merryweather” to the urgency of tracks like “Don’t Hear it… Fear it” (the name of their debut album…), it’s simply an awesome timeless record who could please both the young and the old rockers. They’re currently working on their third album and I’m sure it will be hard and heavy. I’ve seen their more famous friends of Uncle Acid and the Deabeats live but I’d like to experience these guy now!

Unlike the real Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel, I hope those three guys survive the tumultuous seas of rock & roll and make it to North America one day.

To be played as loud as possible on an old ass system!

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