Despite forever being known as “That band who is Thin Lizzy but not,” Black Star Riders have not let that stop them from perusing their own path, recording their own material and saying no to becoming just another old band going through the greatest hits night after night, with anything post 1979 being met with a wall of stoney faced silence. With their debut album “All Hell Breaks Loose” getting a good thumbs up and themselves becoming the inevitable regret to the Festival seasons 3am kebab, Black Star Riders seemed to have not only found their niche, but seem to be ploughing through at full speed ahead.
Their sophomore album “The Killer Instinct” shows the band have found their feet, now with a stabilised line up and more of a cohesive forward thinking idea going ahead. The album features some of the bands best work to do date, with the album’s title track and ‘Finest Hour,’ which features one or two Springsteen-esque woahhhhs, especially standing out.
Overall, it’s safe to say that it’s business as usual. At the end of the day, this still has the heart of Thin Lizzy at it’s centre and the duel guitar harmonies are still available in abundance. But it’s frontman Ricky Warwick who lifts what could be another ‘dad rock’ record that would drift into mediocrity and fall into the annuals of pub jukebox fodder into a record with swagger and just enough bite to hold your attention.
For what is, Black Star Riders are excellent at what they do. It’s to the point classic rock, but doesn’t quite fall into the nostalgia pit of being dad rock, but maybe not reaching the heights of the classic rock revival bands like Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge. Long may they continue to ride.