Four years have passed since “At Her Majesty’s Pleasure” was released and the blues rockers from Leeds are back on track with their brand new album. Since forming in 2003, the band has set a four year span between releases. Sure, the wait is long. But as a result, their two preceding albums were quite notable, carefully constructed and well performed, and “Hustler’s Row” is not an exception.
The album lasts approximately 43 minutes, and during this period, Gentlemans Pistols generously offer us 10 songs of well played blues/hard rock, taking their musicianship to a whole new level. The band’s influences from bands like HUMBLE PIE, WISHBONE ASH and THE SWEET can be detected throughout the album. However,the band has developed a distinctive personal style that overcomes any similarity you might hear.
The guitar work is exquisite. James Atkinson’s sharp and fuzzy riffs are accompanied by Bill Steer’s catchy, melodic leads and solos. His solo on “Lady Teaser” is simply superb. Rob Threapleton’s bass lines create a nice groovy background while, along with Stuart Dobbins’ strong and tight drumming,they form a solid rhythm section for the rest to lean on. Atkinson leads the way behind the microphone, combining his deep, soul-searchinglyrics with passionate warm vocals. Add the clean but still warm production (also courtesy of Atkinson himself) to the whole package, and there you have it.
Up tempo songs like “Coz Of You” with its classic rock n’ roll pattern, “Devil’s Advocate On Call” with its lively groove or the blazing opening track “The Searcher” will keep you on your toes. On the other side, the slower, bluesier moments like “Stress & Confusion” along with the wonderfully mournful title track will calm you down with their soothing, wandering melodies.
Overall, “Hustler’s Row” is one of the most interesting blues rock releases for this year. Gentlemans Pistols compensate their followers for the four year wait, delivering their best and most mature album so far. If you are a fan of RIVAL SONS, THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT, or BLACKBERRY SMOKE you should definitely check them out.
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