The Swamp Born Assassins – Dead Man’s Train

The Swamp Born Assassins.

Reviewed by:
On 29 June 2019
Last modified:29 June 2019


The Swamp Born Assassins walk tall and don't get stuck in the mud with Dead Man's Train.

Choo choo! Here come the mad Scots  The Swamp Born Assassins with their latest studio album Dead Man’s Train. Ten first class travel tracks kick off full steam ahead with the title track as it literally burns up the track as ear rasping harmonica from frontman Charlie Moffat add nuances to the rest of the band steaming along behind him. Huge choruses and blinding twin lead guitar work set the bar high from the off! ‘Blot Out The Sun’ is all laid back, feet up Southern rock tinged blues The lyrics are very thought provoking, warning us of the future of our planet. Pulsing bass lines from Allen Bell over a steady drum beat from Steven Craven drive it along. Current single ‘The Weeping Tree’ is a glorious slow burner. Added keys from Paddy McKenna give it a proggy feel.

‘Better Off Dead’ is given a touch of menace by Charlie’s vocal to add an edge to the creepy lyrics as the riffs grind towards a searing wah wah solo. ‘Sharp Shot Johnny’ is a vintage rhythm and blues toe tapper, a real feel good groover and ideal to blast out over the car stereo with the windows down! ‘Crank It Up’ lives up to its title purely to the full on riffing that hits hard from the start to a headbanging finish. A country and western vibe pops up in ‘Shotgun Shells And Whisky’ but with a ballsy drive and choruses that will have you hollering them out. Charlie gets on his soapbox for ‘Rise Up’ and quite rightly so as he wears his heart on his sleeve for a passionate, patriotic vocal. It will surely be a future live anthem and some stirring bagpipes play an outro of ‘Scotland The Brave’.

‘Run To The Wildfire’ is a foot to the floor rocker that pays tribute to the Wildfire festival in Scotland, run by Dave Ritchie who even gets a name check in the lyric of “If you’re bitten by a midgie, get cream from Dave Ritchie”. I’ve been there, those insects get everywhere and strangely enough the band are playing there this weekend. This strong album ends on a high with the seven minute epic ‘The Madness Of His Reverance’. Charlie delivers with an almost spoken word evil glee. A haunting guitar intro and keys from Alf Vesterley (who mixed the album) add textures to the surging riffs.


Dead Man’s Train.

Blot Out The Sun.

The Weeping Tree.

Better Off Dead.

Sharp Shot Johnny.

Crank It Up.

Shotgun Shells And Whisky.

Rise Up.

Run To The Wildfire.

The Madness Of His Reverance.



The Swamp Born Assassins walk tall and don't get stuck in the mud with Dead Man's Train.

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!