This is a re-release of Gentlemans Pistols‘ debut from 2007, having recently released ‘At Her Majesty’s Pleasure’. I must admit I’ve never previously heard either album. My first and only exposure to the band was when they supported The Sword last year. They played a stormer and pretty much upstaged the headliners that night in front of a very partisan crowd. They appeared to have beamed down straight from the 70’s, but played with such a swagger it was like they had invented classic rock in the first place and were determined to bring it to the masses. I made a mental note and moved back to the bar, grin firmly in place.
They certainly hadn’t been hiding any dubstep or folk influences live – It’s Ronseal rock. No pretensions, no concepts, but of course that means not many musical surprises either. ‘Just A Fraction’ is a good foot-stomping opener and reminds me, as do several tracks, of the party metal of the mighty Wolfsbane. Gentlemans Pistols don’t quite possess the charisma of Blaze and the boys, but it’s a decent introduction.
There then follows two tracks where I begin to waiver between enjoyment and mild antipathy. ‘Out of the Eye’ is a breathless rip through a list of euphemisms for wanking. Then ‘Heavy Petting’ ‘heavy petting in the park/heavy petting in the zoo’ is a blues-jazz head nodding slower track which appears to have been written just to service that jokey lyric.
By now the horrific spectre of The Darkness is looming. For me, The Darkness are a band who did do much to destabilise the currency of hard rock. They took one of the cornerstones of modern music and turned into a fad, an ironic, larky gimmic. As was proven when they soon fell out of favour and hard rock again fell off the nation’s airwaves again. It doesn’t appear that Gentlemans Pistols have had a change of heart, as I note, their latest single was called ‘Sherman Tank’!
Luckily, the silliness abates from here on in and on ‘The Lady’ and the excellent ‘Vivid Wonder’ startle my ears by sounding not unlike Paul Di’anno era Iron Maiden. There is still, however, some unforgivable sub-Whitesnake filler on ‘Widow Maker’. The closing tale of dogging dilemma’s ‘Parking Banshee’ steers the right side of daft and leaves me feeling rather churlish for being so hard on them. Still, it’s a disappointment, I can’t deny it. I can only hope the new one’s better.