Nuclear Blast Records
Words: Craig Hartranft
Gentlemans Pistols, formed by vocalist and guitarist James Atkison, has been out and about the UK since 2003. In twelve years, the band has had a few personnel changes to stymie their output. But after a five year hiatus, Gentlemans Pistols returns with their third long-player, Hustler's Row.
In one sense the Pistols' music is fundamental. At it's core, this is rock n roll, the classic rock kind. They just make it a bit heavier by throwing down chunkier riffs and broadening the bottom end. Doing this, they don't sacrifice either melody or harmony, whether by riffs or vocal arrangements. Yet, regarding the latter, the vocals do seem unusually muted throughout the album, at least at the start. Your ears definitely adapt but, generally speaking, the heavier the song, the more the vocals get pummeled as with The Searcher, by example. Alternatively, the title cut, a significantly lighter number in the context, allows Atkinson's vocals to be more present. Another thing you'll find within these tunes, something quite essential, is plain, often aggressive, keep your toe-tapping rock groove. Often it's found in the riffage, yet more so by the rhythm section, notably the bass line. The drums add the embellishment, but that bass line strengthens the groove's definition. Of additional interest is the guitar solos. They're not exactly plentiful, across every song, yet when they do rise sparks fly.
Conversely, one thing that came to my attention was a reasonable redundancy to the GP sound. Listening to the starts of the trio of songs Stress and Confusion, Personal Fantasy Wonderland, and Lady Teaser one might hear an peculiar similarity, a twist and turn of similar chords and riffs notwithstanding. Then there's the closing number, So Long Fade Away. The name almost describes how you might feel about this long song that drags along. These comments aside, for some genuine classic heavier melodic hard rock, Gentlemans Pistols' Hustler's Row delivers the goods. Recommended.
For some genuine and entertaining classic heavier melodic hard rock, Gentlemans Pistols' Hustler's Row delivers the goods. Recommended.
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