Bernie Tormé - ‘Blackheart’ (Retrowerk Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 03:00

Torme Blackheart“I love the guitar playing of Bernie Tormé!” You can quote me on that too.


I suppose you might say I’m nailing my colours to the mast early doors with this review then, but you know what? Fuck it! Bernie is a guitarist who deserves all the praise that he gets (and that’s not just from yours truly either), as without his playing my life would have been a hell of a lot less exciting that’s for sure.


To the matter at hand then and ‘Blackheart’ our guitar hero’s second Pledge funded album in quick succession, and unlike the rather expansive double ‘Flowers & Dirt’ set that preceded it, this one’ is much more in keeping with the classic whammy bar action of early solo Tormé albums like ‘Turn Out The Lights’ and the dive bombing six string shenanigans he delivered in spades as part of G.M.T, and of course the mighty Gillan.


In fact it’s Gillan that immediately springs to mind during the opening bars of the bizarrely titled opener ‘Golden Pig’, the self-styled Stratocaster Gypsy unleashing a riff that is a (future) shock to the system whilst the song develops into some kind of metalized version of The Rolling Stones. This theme continues into the quite frankly superb ‘1985 (Keeper Of The Flame)’ a song that actually brings to mind obscure eighties UK pop rockers Broken English.


There is also a very strong Led Zeppelin groove present on the likes of the six minute Eastern epic ‘Flow’ and the punchy ‘Steady Roller Blues’, whilst ‘Into The Sun’ makes me think of The Who at their very best and ‘Miles To Babylon’ is Oi!rish through and through.


Elsewhere it’s pretty standard Tormé hard rock territory, and I certainly don’t mean that in any way to be a slight on tunes like ‘On Fire’, ‘Better Days’ or one of my favourite tracks on the album ‘Snake In The Garden’, another track that reminds me of Broken bloody English. ‘Pain Song’ is another cocky rocker, whilst ‘Dirt’ could very well be the theme tune to that Motley Crue film that you just know will never see the light of day.


Ending with ‘Party’s Over’ I’m mindful that Bernie Tormé's style could very easily see him being dubbed "the Jimi Hendrix of my generation", but the best thing about that I suppose is that our Bernie is still very much in the land of living and still making great records too. Make sure you get out there and support the boys when they hit the road once again this October, starting at The Octagon, Keighley on the 22nd. The band for this tour feature the guys who also played on ‘Blackheart’, namely Chris Heilmann on bass and Ian Harris on drums.


Did I ever tell you that Bernie Tormé once bled on my Wrangler jacket? I did. Good! I’ll shut up now and let you go and listen to ‘Blackheart’, which you can preview selected tracks from via Bernie’s bandcamp page linked below!