Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Nikki Sudden & Dave Kusworth: Jacobites
The Otter Song + Apartment to Compartment 7”
Crediting this 45 to the Jacobites is a bit misleading; while it does feature Nikki Sudden and Dave Kusworth, it’s on separate tunes. No surprise, of course, given that the British rock ne’er-do-wells could renew their collaboration only through the means of necromancy. But new music from either dude is a rare and precious thing these days, so I feel churlish complaining – especially since both tunes rock. The Otter Song (a working title, never to be changed now) was recorded in 2003 with fellow traveler Joey Skidmore and has that awesome Bob Dylan-fronting-the-Rolling Stones groove of which Sudden had become a master in his final years. Fans of his late-period masterpieces Treasure Island and The Truth Doesn’t Matter will seriously dig it.
Kusworth, for his part, collaborates with Spanish likeminders Los Tupper (on whose most recent record he plays) on Apartment to Compartment, a tune that comes from the repertoire of Dave’s pre-Jacobites band the Ragdolls. Accompanied by a simpatico horn section, Kusworth also taps into the Stones’ long-lost mojo for a catchy killer. Band and mentor sound so good together it makes me hope they work together again the next time Kusworth feels like cutting an album. Sudden may be dead, but in the hands of he and his old pal Kusworth, rock & roll sure as hell ain’t.
- Michael Toland
At Her Majesty’s Pleasure
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