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Split Album
(HeviSike Records)

jools green

Jools Green

gorilla grifter

What's better than a new Grifter album? A Gorilla vs. Grifter split of course! Why?... because you get a double dose of groovy, good rockin' on one release from two of the hardest working underground bands on the UK rock scene today!

First up Gorilla, the no-nonsense power trio fronted by The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell mainman Johnny Gorilla, with four tracks of dirty rocking, commencing with the up tempo 'Both Barrells', very Motörhead reminiscent riffs, a rugged vocal delivery and superb midpoint bluesy breakout.

Next, with a slower tempo initially, is 'Slay Rider', a delightful chunk of dirty, groovy, stoner rock and roll, a track that takes your mind back to memories of a misspent youth. The tempo ramps up for some excellent lead work again, then the pace drops to the original slower groove but the overlay of superb bluesy lead work runs until the close.

With cleaner riffs, but dirtier bass lines and yet more fabulous lead work, 'Grind Yer Down' has a catchy lyric we can all relate to and can't resist joining in with.

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The slower, darker opener on 'Three Squeeler' makes you wonder quite where this track will go. After an extended intro the pace ramps up to a catchy mid tempo with punchy riffs and an addictive repeat and yet more superb, second half lead work and there's something quite punkish to the closing bass lines.

One important point to mention is that across all four tracks the drum work is also quite superb, complex when needed without being too in your face. New drummer Ryan Matthews certainly knows his way around his kit.

On the flip side Grifter, a band whose line-up and dedication to rock has gone unchanged since their formation in 2003. They keep it simple, straightforward and real, with a witty, sleazy leaning to the lyrical content proving they are serious about their music without taking themselves too seriously, I'm still reeling from the shock of discovering the meaning behind the track 'Alabama Hot Pocket', from their debut self titled release!

Opening with 'Failing Asleep' on some very sexy bass lines and then great midpoint lead work and offering an all together cleaner sound, but still with that delightfully dense, rich power trio resonance.

Next 'Paige Turner' has such fabulously bouncy groove, a lyrically witty song about an education gained from adult magazines! A sleazy little number getting even sleazier as the tempo picks up mid way and there's a deeper wicked intonation to Ollie's vocal delivery on this track.

The combination of an almost military like delivery to drum rhythms, high profile bass lines, clean addictive repeat riffing, great vocal harmonies on the chorus make 'Hi Waisted' such a great listen all boosted by a dramatic direction switch midway that is capped off with harmonica and blues rich lead work.

I love the groove to the opening guitars on 'Me Love'. The tempo picks up, the groove stays but just gets sleazier on this ode to an egotist.

Gorilla vs. Grifter was mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator) and features a unique cover designed by Dutch artist Maarten Donders, known for his poster designs for Blues Pills and Roadburn Festival.

This twin sided delight is out now on two-tone vinyl through HeviSike as part of a series if split releases, spin it and pick a side!... or just love 'em both, either way you are guaranteed a mighty slab of good rockin'!

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