On this website, for the last seven years, we’ve had an occasional series running: Andy jumps to conclusions.
It’s a good one, normally it involves Andy reading about three words of a bio that he’s sent and deciding the entire album’s fate based on them.
Sometimes, though, Andy – who does mean well – gets it badly wrong.
Take this (after which, Andy promises to stop writing about himself in the third person). Budderside release a record on Motorhead Records. Their lead singer is a former roadie to Lemmy, and Phil Campbell is on it. Easy, bruv. Pack it with a load of puns and witter on about “Killed By Death” being the greatest rock song ever written.
Now, the more astute amongst you – which in this case is everyone but me – will note that “Spiritual Violence” is Patrick Alan Stone and the gang’s second album, so you may have noted that all of what I thought was ….I think the technical term is…..a bag of bollocks.
For the uninitiated, here is the crux. The first 15 seconds of the swaggering, modern, thunder of “Wide Awake”. More Stone Sour than sour mash, more Monster Energy drink than Jack and Coke. Wholly superb, too. Like only the best US bands can be. None of this Shinedown, Alter Bridge type boring shit, this has a solo that is pure filth.
Like the Hells Angels have switched things up, there’s something genuinely menacing about “Zen”, but all wrapped around a chorus that has big dreams.
A swathe of top draw guests is started by Carla Harvey of Butcher Babies who turns “Amber Alert” into the sort of song that play if there was a strip club in hell, while Phil Campbell does his thing on “Pardon Me” (a song inspired by Mr. Kilminster) that is to say he fits in, as he does whatever he does, and like only one of the best could.
This exists in a big, muscular world, but with occasional superb harmonies. “I’m A Man” is drenched in them, and just to prove I can be wrong more than once in the same review (pretty impressive?) then when I saw “Folsom Prison Blues” on the tracklist I thought, “meh, what’s the point?” Listen to it. Then you’ll know. If you ever wondered what it would be like as a glam rock song. Wonder no longer.
Interestingly, that seems to herald a shift to even more experimentation. “The Things We Do” has just a pinch of Enuff Z Nuff about it, and its peace signs are day-glo, and there’s something truly compelling about the staccato rhythm of “Feels So Good”.
Perhaps the most surprising – given what has gone before – is “Soul Searches” , which merrily veers from mid-period Stereophonics to something not far from punk rock.
“Daygobah” (pronounced “day go by”) completes the set by combining something that might have come from a Corey Taylor solo record with some scratching that Flava Flav would approve of, with a screeching thrash solo, which it washes down with something mind-altering.
The difficulty in summing that sums “Spiritual Violence” as whole. At times it sounds like a compilation record, at times the parts of the songs shouldn’t work – except its totally cohesive and they always do. Truly compelling and downright fun. It’s proper Sunset Strip rock n roll, but with a real twist.