Single reviews: LA GUNS, GILBY CLARKE, PSSR, PHIL X

Golden Robot Records

The LA Guns, PhilX & The Drills, Gilby Clarke and PSSR, all enduring talents who started life in the glow of Eighties’ Hair Metal, are all releasing albums soon on the fast growing Golden Robot Records.

The label is releasing teaser singles every so often, like a trail of crumbs through the lockdown jungle, leading us eventually to the big prize.

L.A. GUNS

We reviewed the LA Guns first single ‘Crawl’ last month.

Next up from the band is ‘Well Oiled Machine’, and yes, there’s photo of a Harley on the cover, but it’s not Biker Rock. At least, not as we know it.

It’s a pounding, piston pumping rock song, and it comes at you fast, before neatly changing gears down into a cool, relatively laid back chorus, with a gorgeously descending melodic hook, beautiful and sinister at one and the same time.

Lyrically, they’ve traded the latent misogyny of the genre’s sexist past for parody and pop metal, “I love my baby, she’s a well oiled machine. She takes me places I’ve never seen”.

Kudos for singing that line with a straight face, guys.

(See “The making of ‘Crawl’)

GILBY CLARKE

Gilby Clarke’s music is always hard to pin down. The music press likes pigeonholes so they usually accuse him of being unoriginal, and of his output being generic.

And yet his bluesy, rootsy albums of the past have proved to be very popular. For his fans, listening to his records was the definition of personal experience.

On the early evidence, he’s sounds like he’s stretched himself a good bit further than usual, challenging the accepted norms. As ‘Gospel Truth’ unfolds, we hear him squeeze out a stream of consciousness narrative, accompanied only by blasts of brass and a throbbing bass rhythm. In doing so he creates a fascinating – and clearly audible – slab of thinking man’s rock’n'roll, encouraging us to question who makes the laws and why. It’s thought provoking rather than ground breaking, but all the better for not being preachy.

PSSR

The little known PSSR comprises Lee Jakobson on vocals and guitar, Frank (Guns’n'Roses) Ferrer, on drums, and Rob Bailey on guitar. Richard (G’n'R) Fortus guests on lead guitar.

‘Busted’ is the 2nd single trailing the upcoming album, and it’s a raucous, ragged edged New York thing, full of jump cut chords and clattering rhythms. Jakobson wraps his grubby, high pitched vocals around the band’s straggly guitar shapes, sounding for all the world like they’re on stage in some dingy club, just waiting for night to fall.

(‘Busted’ video)

Theofilis Xenidis – Phil X to you and me, has been everywhere, man. From Canada’s Triumph in 1992, and their “Edge Of Excess” album to Bon Jovi, with whom he’s spent the last nine years, playing and recording.

His side band, Phil X And The Drills’ new album “Stupid Good Lookings, Vol 2” will be released later this year. Meantime, this single, ‘Right On The Money’, was made with direct fan involvement. It’s a solid, meat and 2 veg rock song, with a catchy Green Day/Weezer pop vibe. See the video on You Tube, and judge for yourself.

Reviews by Brian McGowan


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 July.. In the first hour David pays tribute to the blues/rock guitarist Peter Green.

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Featured Albums w/c 3 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 LIONVILLE Magic Is Alive (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 MAD MAX Stormchild Rising (SPV)
14:00-16:00 MARY COUGHLAN Life Stories (2020)

Power Plays w/c 3 August (Mon-Fri)

SOUTH OF SALEM Cold Day In Hell (indie)
BLACK LESION Sins (indie)
CAROLINE JONES All Of The Boys (Social Family Records)
BLACK SUN Resist (Rockshot Records)
THE JAILBIRDS Dull My Brain (Golden Robot Records)
FROM ASHES TO NEW Scars That I’m Hiding (Better Noise Records)
THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS Spirit Of A Workin’ Man (Mascot)
THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA Apologise (TBOG Music)



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