Gentlemans Pistols recently released their new album Hustler’s Row via Nuclear Blast and will be touring this autumn in support of Orange Goblin. The band are James Atkinson (vocals/guitars), Bill Steer (guitar), Stuart Dobbins (drums) and Robert Threapleton (bass). Frontman Atkinson has been busy, as well as performing and being songwriter for the band he also took on recording duties on this album, which was recorded at his own studio, Mutiny, in Bradford. After producing their 2011 album At Her Majesty’s Pleasure he wasn’t keen to do it again, but decided to go ahead as he knew exactly what they wanted and him producing was the easiest way to achieve it.
Hustler’s Row is Gentlemans Pistols third album (and second with Bill Steer). Messr Steer’s love for blues and retro (check out Firebird ASAP) is well documented and when he joined the GP back in 2009 it felt natural. What we didn’t expect was the return of Carcass and the blistering Surgical Steel revival. That being said, when Bill isn’t ripping faces off with virulent shredding, he is laying down a silky groove on tracks like ‘Devil’s Advocate On Call’; The first release from Hustler’s Row is “Vintage” Gentlemans Pistols. There’s twin lead lines that revive the ghost of Thin Lizzy and Wishbone Ash.
‘The Searcher’ is drawn straight from the 70’s and kicks the album off with a nice up tempo pace. Atkinson’s vocal has matured so much since their eponymous debut and throughout the album his unique stamp is all over the tracks. Add to that, the delicious riffs and thumping bottom end, Hustler’s Row has everything that fans of hard rock, that has it’s feet planted firmly in the past, need.
The Zeppelinesque ‘Stress and Confusion’ is a slow paced, thoughtful track that makes great use of all Gentlemans Pistols strengths. An impassioned, stripped back vocal melded with soaring harmonies make this song stand out from the rest on the album. Maybe because it is nestled halfway into the program, but it does give a soothing respite before stomping romp that follows. ‘Lady Teaser’ nods it’s head to The Sweet and ‘Private Rendezvous’ struts and swaggers with a pulsing panache.
If I was to make an criticism of Hustler’s Row, it is that the tracks can tend to blend together over time but I do feel that the live environment is where they will come into their own when mixed with a setlist from across the GP repertoire.
All in all, Gentlemans Pistols haven’t reinvented the wheel. Hustler’s Row holds no crazy surprises but is another strong collection of songs from a UK band that are very much holding their own in the modern day retro scene. Give Hustler’s Row a spin, they could be your new favourite band.
Devil’s Advocate on Call
Stress and Confusion
Personal Fantasy Wonderland
Cos of You