Friday, November 22, 2013
The Gentlemen Bastards - S/T
What do you get if you take one Icelander, one Canadian and two Alabamians and bring them together in Huntsville, AL? You get The Gentlemen Bastards, a true music gem of a perculiar kind. Playing great stoner rock they step off the template for this genre by adding a rich southern twist. And contrary to most bands of this particular style, they refrain from using fuzz and reverb. Instead the go for big fat riffs and a heavy rock approach with a shit-ton of groove.
Born out the ashes of Saturn5 where guitarist Bill Barry and drummer Dave Stanley used to play they soon came across singer Will Quinn and writing commenced. Oh, Dave is one half of the foreign contingent in the band. The second half, and the last piece to the band's formation, was the arrival of Icelandic bass maestro Böðvar Böðvarsson. Finally The Gentlemen Bastards found their direction and the end result is this, their self-titled self-released debut album...and it's goddamned fantastic!
The riff is a very important thing for these Southern gentlemen, that and a strong sense of melody. And they use these two ingredients perfectly. Never overdoing anything the songs flow so natural and with such ease it's a great joy to listen to them. Instead of thinking "why did they do this" I think "how the hell did they do it". Every new spin of this album brings something new to the table but best of all is the feel-good sense that emanates from this wax. Don't ask me how they do it but the way they let the riff-fest that is stoner rock mix with the attitude and song structure of southern rock, the outcome is truly an exceptional one of a kind album.
Neverland initiates the proceedings as these southern fried gents aim to shatter my aching old bones to dust. And shatter, shake, rattle and roll is what I do as they let their hair hang down and fly down I-65 towards Gulf Shores with no care in the world. And that's how the album plays out. Making sure the songs are as good as possible is these bastards' only concern and tell you what, there is no need to worry because this is so good!
Don't know if they meant to but to me the guys have created a new kind of cruising down the highway kind of music. Of course I spend a lot of time in my truck driving back and forth to work, so I do a lot of listening to all kinds of albums in it as it is but what this one does is something else. I just want to keep on driving and forget about everything else. That's quite an accomplishment because I'm not a keen driver. I see it as means to end basically. So bringing out that desire in me means The Gentlemen Bastards are doing something very special.
By blending the groove and rhythm of The Allman Brothers with the guitar attack of Tony Iommi and Dickey Betts and pouring it into a cup full of Palm Desert juice, you have a heavy yet very organic sound. Having been brought up on classic heavy 70's rock it is a delight for me to hear this. Not only does it bring back great memories but it also carries on a great music tradition in the best possible way. Heavy rock, metal whatever term you want to put on it has always had a way of reinventing itself. A lot of crap comes with it but once the skin has been shed and the new is in place new fantastic music has come to life and The Gentlemen Bastards are part of this. So what are you waiting for? Go get your hands on The Gentlemen Bastards and let yourself be immersed by some sweet kick-ass heavy tunes. This is great!
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