By: Richard Maw
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/10/2015
Label: Nuclear Blast
The UK still does great hard rock when it wants to, and Gentlemans Pistols do it better than just about everyone else right now. Can't wait to see them live again and hear some of this material in that setting. A gigantic leap from their debut and a great hard rock record. If it was 1975, these boys would be millionaires.
“Hustlers Row” CD//DD//LP track listing:
1. The Searcher 3:12
2. Devil's Advocate On Call 4:01
3. Time Wasters 5:49
4. Private Rendezvous 4:37
5. Stress And Confusion 4:31
6. Personal Fantasy Wonderland 4:22
7. Lady Teaser 3:59
8. Dazzle Drizzler 4:14
9. Coz Of You 2:58
10. Hustler's Row 5:47
Gentleman's Pistols is
James Atkinson | vocals, guitars
Bill Steer | guitars
Stuart Dobbins | drums
Robert Threapleton | bass
Gentleman's Pistols return, ably assisted by Bill Steer and also the former bassist/front man of Asomvel (Robert Threapleton). I have seen the former line up of the band many, many times as support to countless artists. Their debut was a rough and ready representation of their live show, with tracks like “Heavy Petting” sticking the mind. I must confess that I have not heard their sophomore release, though, so I was interested to hear how the band had progressed.
This time around, the band has undoubtedly grown into a more classic rock styled beast. Opener “The Searcher” sounds like The Who- albeit a revved up version (perhaps no surprise from the title). “Devil's Advocate On Call” is a swinging good time- again, firmly routed in the 70;s. Slade or The Sweet could have written it. Really, the album barrels past at a fantastic rate. Laden with hooks and good time vibes, it is a fine rock and roll record and a throwback to simpler times. It is refreshing to hear a hard rock band that doesn't sound like AC/DC to be honest and “Private Rendezvous” may share that band's sense of fun and sleaze, but it has a sensibility and sound all its own.
“Stress and Confusion” may have a more laid back tone and style (not too far removed from Robin Trower or even Clapton's better moments!). “Personal Fantasy Wonderland” goes back to hard rocking basics (lovely left foot high hat rhythm keeping by the way- not too much of that around these days). “Lady Teaser is bluesy rock and roll swagger with a great groove. “Dazzle Drizzler”, meanwhile, is all dynamics and build ups. Nice guitar runs, here. “Coz of You” continues the blues based riffage with success and makes you long for a time when heavy music meant this type of thing and not just mindless noise. It's a fine song with a strong hook and refrain.
The title track seems to have a tabla/bongo overdub which fits its mood well. It kind of has the vibe of, perhaps, “Living on an Island” by the mighty Quo, or perhaps a more wistful outfit such as Wishbone Ash. Certainly, this is a fine, fine record. The UK still does great hard rock when it wants to, and Gentleman’s Pistols do it better than just about everyone else right now. Can't wait to see them live again and hear some of this material in that setting. A gigantic leap from their debut and a great hard rock record. If it was 1975, these boys would be millionaires.