Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gentleman's Pistols - At Her Majesty's Pleasure


Gentleman’s Pistols
At Her Majesty’s Pleasure
Rise Above

British singer/guitarist James Atkinson apparently couldn’t decide which era of his homeland’s heavy rock he liked better – the earthy, shaggy thud of 70s arena rawk or the majestic, wild-eyed zoom of 80s NWOBHM. So Gentleman’s Pistols does both at the same time. At Her Majesty’s Pleasure, the band’s second slab, mixes galloping rhythms and Atkinson’s soaring riffs with earthbound crunch and bluesy solos courtesy Firebird/Carcass axedude Bill Steer. Atkinson’s larynx inhabits a space between growl and wail, giving his vocals both melody and power. Imagine Diamond Head and Foghat sharing a table and the tab and you’re nearly there. Fist-pumpers like Feed Me to the Lions, Comfortably Crazy and Your Majesty kick the roof open, while Lethal Woman and Midnight Crawler stomp confidently and deliberately across the exposed landscape. The most breathless moment comes two-thirds through, when the blazing trio of The Ravisher, Sherman Tank and Peeping Tom barrel through the walls, blast through your ribcage and leave bruised body parts and satiated smiles in their wake. If a through Pistol-whippin’ is what you crave, then you’ll happily place yourself At Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

- Michael Toland

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