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Album Review : Gorilla Riot , Peach

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Gorilla Riot have been described as ‘Dirty Rock’n’Blues mavericks’.  Their latest Album, Peach, which is their first full length album will be released on the 31st of January.

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The album comprises 12 stunning tracks, two of which have been released as singles and you can listen to them now;  ‘Half Cut’ and ‘Young Guns’.  Have a listen, and if you like them, you are in good company, the plaudits just keep rolling in for the Mancunian 5 piece.

The singles set the tone for the album, they’ve kept the core sound they fashioned in EP Six Shots Down, and developed in American Honey.  For me though, they’ve filled out the sound, they’ve given it depth and gravity, they’ve broadened the influences and it works really well.  It’s worth a listen. Arjun Bhishma (Lead Vocals) said,

“After our last EP many people put us in the ‘Southern Rock’ bracket. With this record we wanted to show that, although that genre certainly is an influence, it is one of many. You will hear from the first second of the first song that this is not just a Southern Rock record, even if it has elements of that to it. This record takes inspiration from a broader set of genres, from classic rock to grunge with a base in the blues.

“We wanted to show how we have progressed as a band in terms of groove and specific parts. The guitars in this are all intertwining around each other, whilst playing their own individual parts during each song. Having three guitars allows us to layer music in a way that can be recreated live. Therefore, everything you hear on this album is how it will be done live.

“We like to think that people will enjoy its immediacy but that it will also take a few listens to discover every nuance and subtlety.”  I did, he’s absolutely right.

The album opens with Riders 1.  A low slung blues number with heavy bass undertones.   It captures the ear immediately, the anticipation builds into Riders 2 – a clear sound with old school bluesy/rock rhythm.  It’s the first we hear of Arjun’s vocals.  Low slung, laid back and full of swagger.  The epitome of that southern sound backed again by Deggy’s heavy bass rhythm.

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Still doing time opens with distortion on the vocals which melt into a smooth harmony then break into Arjun’s crowing chorus.

Mind your head sees the guitars come to the fore.  With the vocals taking on a backing quality laid over the rhythmic jabbing of the guitars.  The piece is polished with a great deal of finesse from the lead guitar.

Half cut expounds the dirty blues influence.  Extended vocals, cleverly  positioned and intricate fingering give a pleasing scalar sound on the lead guitar.

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Young guns.  Brings up the pace in the beat with vocal harmonies interspersed.  Stretching the vocals into the higher registers of Arjun’s range.

Help the guilty, we’re enveloped in the sound.  A deeper base, with pronounced and deliberate rhythm followed by an arresting free-fall at mid point.  It’s a showpiece for David Thomas measured and well placed drumming.

Reckless Till Death brings up the tempo.  Whilst Black heart Woman has an imposing and dramatic start on the guitars, breaks into classic rock then grooves its way into funk blended blues.  It’s a piece to behold and appreciate.

Prayer for Suckers show’s the bands ability to harmonise on the vocals, with a cool bit of distortion later in the track.

Beat your bite is possibly the most melodic of the tracks.  Uplifting and touching it is soulful.  It pulls you in and has you singing along.  At almost 6 minutes long, your left wanting more at the end.

The album finishes with the aptly named Chuggin’, heavy on bass & rhythm and it’s as punchy as the vocals get before gliding into an old school rock bass line.

This is definitely an album worth listening to, and I’d say worth more than simply streaming it.

Looking forward to the album launch show which will be held at Rebellion, Manchester on Sat 08 Feb 2020.

This is a band on a trajectory and we’ll be hearing a lot about them.

Review written by Martin Kelly for Metal Planet Music

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