Gentleman’s Pistols – Hustler’s Row


Showing just how good they can be…

Review by Allan Jones

Nuclear Blast Entertainment

Release Date: 16 October 2015

One of the things that I’ve always enjoyed is a band who dares to have fun. There are plenty of miserable, moping bands out there, but nowhere near enough bands seem to be having much fun these days. The Leeds-based Gentleman’s Pistols are, thankfully, one of those irreverent and entertaining bands determined to have some fun. It’s about as far from guitarist Bill Steer’s first bands – Napalm Death and Carcass – as you can get. Mind you, he did turn up in an episode of Red Dwarf in Dave Lister’s band Smeg and the Heads (Timeslides, if you’re curious which episode).

I first discovered them supporting fellow northerners Terrorvision around about the time of their sophomore album At Her Majesty’s Pleasure was released. With debauched lyrics hinted at with track titles such as ‘Sherman Tank’ and a thick, heavy 70’s bluesy rock swagger driving things along, they quickly became a favourite of mine, so when the chance to review their new album Hustler’s Row I jumped at the chance.

This album is carrying on where the last one left out – it’s a proper 70’s throwback, and one that would fit on a single side of C90 for those old enough to remember what one of those was. At the same time, though, there’s a progression in the band’s style and sound – some spaces open in in tracks like ‘Stress and Confusion’ where the more bluesy elements can come through, and it elevates it above their previous offerings.

They’ve learned when to back off completely, too – the stripped back opening of the eponymous ‘Hustler’s Row’ shows that even without the distortion and effects, this band can deliver. When it builds itself up into the twin guitar lines, the impact is nothing short of superb. Overall, the grooves are a shade more expansive, the dynamics are even more pronounced, and the guitars harmonise gloriously. It’s a refinement rather than a reinvention, and it serves up a slice of classic rock that it’s hard not to enjoy.

This improvement has perhaps come at the cost of a slight reduction in the playfulness that was a little more apparent in the previous albums, but overall it’s a fair trade. Give ‘Devil’s Advocate On Call’ a listen for yourself – if the interplay of drums and bass, the upbeat fun of the verses and the doubled guitar solo doesn’t convince you of that, then nothing will. This is band that has grown up a little, sure – but in doing so, they’ve started to show just how good they can be.

Gentlemans Pistols – HustlersRow20159 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. The Searcher
  2. Devil’s Advocate On Call
  3. Time Wasters
  4. Private Rendezvous
  5. Stress And Confusion
  6. Personal Fantasy Wonderland
  7. Lady Teaser
  8. Dazzle Drizzler
  9. Coz Of You
  10. Hustler’s Row