Album review: ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL – Check ‘Em Before You Wreck ‘Em

ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL  – Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em

Rise Above – Out Now.

The first time I came across an article featuring the name of the Psychedelic/Hard Rock/Heavy Metal trio…Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, I have to admit I was probably put off by it – the name, I mean.

If it wasn’t for the fact that they are signed with Lee Dorian’s Rise Above, a record label whose specialist taste is pretty close to mine, I would never have given the Hastings trio a chance at all, but an opportunity to review “Check ‘Em Before You Wreck ‘Em”, the band’s latest album, has occurred and now I find myself almost at the point of total conversion.

You see, these lads play a style of music that borrows heavily, but respectfully, from the works of Motorhead, Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy and the way these diverse influences are incorporated in the band’s riff-led compositions combined with the passion and skill behind each of the album’s ten compositions make for a truly deadly mix.

Johnny Gorilla is not only a devoted student of Toni Iommi’s with a soft spot for dirty Rock n’Roll riffs, but also a man in possession of gritty/dirty vocals, which reach their true potential with the support of a very impressive rhythm section, consisting of drummer Bill Darlington and an amazing bass player, who goes by the name of Louis-Comfort Wiggett and whose style and sound I have since become a massive fan of.

Fans of early Motorhead will love the dirty Rock ‘n Roll riff of the opening track “Do It Now”, while the follow up “2 Tonne F*ckboot” find the band presenting classic Sabbath formulae in melodic Stoner Rock fashion.

The first song of the album which well and truly attracted my attention was “Captain Merryweather” – an eight minute atmospheric/melodic opus whose psychedelic lead themes, groovy riff and colourful bass tones are testament to the band’s skill.

“Running From Home” finds the band operating in Thin Lizzy territory, “Happiness Begins” is an up-tempo Motorhead-meets-Sabbath belter, while “Shaker Your Head” is the band’s tribute to UK Rock legends The Who.

With “Don’t Hear It…Fear It” indulging in classic Rock n’Roll tunes, five minute “Bulletproof” readdresses the balance of things by providing some killer head banging riffs, leaving the duet “The Thicker The Better” / “Late Night Mornings” to close the album with an array of interesting and quite diverse riffs & melodies.

On paper, an album like “Check ‘Em Before You Wreck ‘Em” has nothing really new to offer the world of Heavy Rock. What makes Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s second full length album such an impressive proposition is the passion, energy and skill involved in its creation – as demonstrated by all ten compositions.

This album will surprise, impress and inspire in equal measure but, above all, it is guaranteed to provide you with hours of proper musical entertainment. So, get your hands on a copy and allow these guys to take you on a trip to a time when Rock music still had very important things to say!

John Stefanis

Rating: **** (4.0/5.0)





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Power Plays w/c 24 January (Mon-Fri)
UNTIL 9 Headstone (indie)
MARSHALL POTTS The Storm (indie)
WAKING THE ANGELS Stand Back From The Redline (CD Baby)
BLACKTOP MOJO Strike Me (indie)
THE KARMA EFFECT Steal Your Heart (indie)
REVIVAL BLACK Believe (indie)
KUBRICK Devastate (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 24 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GIANT Shifting Time (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE FERRYMEN One More River To Cross (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 PEGGY JAMES The Parade (indie)



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