August 6th sees the launch of the long awaited – and long overdue – debut album by Wolverhamptons finest, The Whiskey Syndicate. Entitled The Right Side of Crazy, fans of the Wufrunian quartet will be familiar with many of the tracks on offer as they have been the mainstay of their live shows for a while now, so it is only right and fitting that these tracks be laid in stone to form the backbone of the album.
But…is it any good? Let’s have a look-see…..
Live show and album opener ‘Living Fast’ provides the backdrop for the album, a pacy, urgent and infectious exercise in Louisiana-style blues rock that throbs and pulsates, driven by Stu Adams ‘on the seat’ and Rich Corry on the four string. ‘Right Side Of Crazy’ carries on in a similar vein; catchy, instantly likeable and foot-tappingly up-beat, it reins in the vibrancy and energy of The Whiskey Syndicate’s live show set and presents in a beautifully formed package.
‘Break The Chains’ and ‘Rise For Me’ are ‘Skynyrd-style anthemic tunes, with Ant Wrights vocals stretching from the breathy, emotive opening on the former to soaring all consuming power of the latter.
‘Rock n Roller’, ‘Jazz Bar’, and ‘Skin and Bones’ are a step removed, all a whole lot more atmospheric and sleazier, dripping with a bluesy guitar and a melancholic vocals. Live show favourite ‘Struck By The Light’ contains echoes of good-time Slade, but at the same time remains a million miles away with a distinct ‘TWS’ stamped over it.
‘Nothing To Hide’ bridges the gap between the bluesy and the out and out rockers, and is perhaps a little more wistful and introspective. The Whiskey Syndicate don’t do power ballads, but this is as close as you will get.
The album climaxes with live show closer, the moody and atmospheric ‘Darker Side Of Your Mind’, a track that snarls and prowls and then bursts into life with finger shredding guitar work courtesy of Mike Davies and Ant Wright, before settling back into the style in which it opened.
Most, if not all, of the tracks on this album would fit snugly onto any album release by luminaries such as Kiss, Black Stone Cherry, or Lynyrd Skynyrd, or indeed, any number of renowned artists you wish to mention. Sure, there are echoes and influences running right through the album, but don’t be fooled, this is distinctly The Whiskey Syndicate, a collection of carefully crafted songs that prove that the band are good enough to compete with the best in the business at every level.
Details of the tour anticipated for later in the year are yet to be revealed, but getting yourselves a ticket should be one of your top priorities. In the meantime, grab yourself a copy of the CD, pour yourself a JD and turn it up loud. The neighbours will love it!
Rating 9 out of 10
- Livin’ Fast
- Right Side Of Crazy
- Jazz Bar
- Break The Chains
- Struck By The Light
- Rise For Me
- Skin & Bones
- Nothing To Hide
- Darker Side of Your Mind