Gentleman’s Pistols – “Hustler’s Row” (Nuclear Blast Records)
After duking it out in notorious Brit hardcore band Voorhees, guitarist / vocalist James Atkinson decided to form Gentleman’s Pistols, a Brit rock band highly reminiscent both in style and look to the classic mid-1970’s pub rock era. With Firebird / Carcass’s legendary guitarist Bill Steer joining in 2009, Gentleman’s Pistols have really taken off, melding the arrogant rock god swank of Zepp along with some American southern rock especially in the soloing to come out as a fine classic rock band in their own right. Despite Atkinson’s high end Plant vocals the overall sound and vibe is less trippy and far more salt of the earth in its manly appeal – probably down to his hardcore roots and continuing association with a recently reactivated Voorhees. That said, the purity of the guitar driven sound on this album is what makes it, from the driving force of its blatant rock riffing on ‘Cos Of You’ – syrup thick and yet bounding in its blues rock before those air guitar worshiping solos start rolling all over you! Opener ‘The Searcher’ reminds me of Montrose’s ‘Space Station No 5’ from the harmonized vocals although the guitars in Gentleman’s Pistols are once again heavier with heaps more dexterous soloing from Steer and Atkinson – well, that’s Brits for ya in their dirty unwashed denims compared to their Stateside cousins wearing satin n lycra! With the amps now warmed and producing a nice energized tone the band roll comfortably into the punchy ‘Private Rendezvous’ which sorta reminds me of Golden Earring – along with a nice thumping beat thanks to Dobby’s drums and Threapleton’s full bass – although as expected, once those amazing guitars get going you’ll definitely know it’s the very British Gentleman’s Pistols. Showing they can equally funk n warble along with Glenn Hughes on ‘Lady Teaser’, there are hints of glam through its hippy harmonies but their steadfast British reserve ensures this remains lads rock when those manly guitars yet again shove their way to the fore of the mix and even more so on the proto metal ‘Personal Fantasy Wonderland’ with its chugging hard rock riffola. Although I’m not a fan of retro or anything vaguely ‘hip’ the veterans of Gentleman’s Pistols have impressed me greatly by not just achieving an authentic sound, but adding their own measure in no small amount to the essence of a style that once could be heard all over this great nation. Rule Britannia!