|Million Dollar Reload - 'A Sinner's Saint' (Frontiers Records)|
|Written by Mark Ashby|
|Wednesday, 04 July 2012 04:15|
Norn Iron's M$R (as they're affectionately known in this part of the world) have made us wait more than four years for the sophomore follow up to their massive debut, 'Anthems For A Degeneration', in which time they have earned the distinct achievement of being one of the very select few non-headline acts to have played Download three times! But, boy - has it been worth the wait? We ask that question rhetorically, of course, as 'ASS' (what a lovely little, Über-approved acronym that is!) is a veritable feast of balls-to-the-wall, ass-whooping, foot-stomping, arm-waving, singalong rock 'n' effing roll anthems of the highest quality. Something, which sees the release already vying for the pole position in my 'Album Of The Year' list.
A subtle cymbal stroke signals the start of 'Fight The System!' an aggressive, in-your-face punk-fuelled bar-room brawl of a song, which immediately challenges the listener to set down yer pint and whiskey chaser and dance like a maniac around the living room. 'Bullets In The Sky' will be familiar to many, as it has been gracing the airwaves of a certain television music channel for several weeks now: the lead single from the album, it's punchy yet catchy, with a chorus more infectious than the Ebola virus, built on a huge melody from the twin guitars of Brian Mallon and Andy Mack (he's the one with the cowboy hat), who uncoil ass-kicking riffs and catchy-as-fuck licks quicker than a crypt full of cobras with Indiana Jones hanging tantalizingly above them, while vocalist Phil Conalane effortlessly blends the bar-room lechery of vintage Bon Scott with the lascivious sleaze of Phil Lewis, combined with his own distinctive southern-blues-style swagger.
'Blow Me Away' does exactly that, it's a romper-stomper stonker of a strip-bar anthem, which builds from another of those unfurling riffs, once again rooted solidly in the concrete rhythm section that is Sean McKernan's superb drum work and Kie McMurray's understated but huge bass sound. 'Can't Tie Me Down' has a guitar sound dirtier than a whore's knickers, while 'Broken' offers a chance to catch your breath, as it's a laid-back Skynyrd-esque ballad on which Conalane sounds like he gargled with razor blades for a week before laying down his beautiful, raspy vocal to produce one of those songs during which you just close your eyes and let it wash over you.
'I Am The Rapture' is a slow-burner, starting off with an effects-laden intro and a rumbling bass riff before opening out into a punchy, punky slice of the sleaziest rock you're gonna hear this side of the Atlantic, with a guitar solo that just sends you to heaven and hell simultaneously. 'Wicked' is just that in its allure, reminiscent of The Black Crowes in its earthiness, 'Smoke N Mirrors' is another slow builder that quickly rips you a new butthole with its ass-rippin' riff, while 'Headrush' bumps and grinds along to the sort of riff which Joe Perry would be proud to lay down. 'Pretty People' is one of the dirtiest slices of finger-clicking boogie you are gonna hear while the ironically monikered 'It Ain't Over' closes proceedings in appropriately dancefloor filling style, with enough sleazy groove in this one track to fill a million L A Guns/Skid Row albums.
Buy it. Buy your girlfriend a copy. Buy your granny a copy. Play it. Play it again...and again...and again. Buy another copy, 'cos the first one is worn out... And rock the fuck out...
To pick up your copy of 'A Sinner's Saint' - CLICK HERE