Gentleman's Pistols - At Her Majesty's Pleasure
by Zac Boda
Who else truly enjoyed the classic rock revival we experienced a few weeks ago here at Heavy Planet with Rival Son's Pressure & Time? I couldn't believe how refreshing it was to hear modernized classic rock that was not bastardized. Well, as much as I enjoyed Pressure & Time, it is only right for me to stumble onto At Her Majesty's Pleasure by the Gentleman's Pistols. As good as Pressure & Time is, At Her Majesty's Pleasure is better (my personal opinion of course).
Gentleman's Pistols, from Leeds, UK seep classic british rock. Honestly, I wouldn't even need to tell you where GP are from. The slick guitar licks (think Thin Lizzy), built off the great rhythm and harmony (Deep Purple, Free), and catchy lyrics, it is easy to see where Gentleman's Pistols come from. Even the album artwork brings Her Majesty's Country to mind. I really get a, "Queen, Night at the Opera" feel. Shall we sit back and enjoy our British cronies good charm over a bitter ale (or Young's Double Chocolate Stout for me)?
"Midnight Crawler" one of the many exceptional tracks begins with a beefy bass-line. Shaping the tune from here is the addition of a stable drum beat and twin guitars nailing the squeal. Midnight Crawler is very repetitive but never leaves the listener yawning. The groove of the rhythm, that excellent squeal, and the clash of the cymbals keep the heads bobbing until about 2:20 into the track. Here we find an extraordinary solo, really transitioning the jam only to be lead back to that enduring groove that carried us in.
"Into The Haze" plainly states it all in the title. With lyrics like "Into a haze" and "up in a puff of smoke", all the listeners at Heavy Planet know what they are in for on this track. Again, a fantastic transition occurs around the mid-point of the song. This beautifully plucked melody sharply turns into and thrashing jam. Winning.
"I Wouldn't Let You" very well be my favorite track. With around a three minute run time, I'm a little surprised at myself. I personally love falling head first into any bands longer tunes. It's just something about the lead guitars lick, it's intoxicating. I can't say more. Go listen to this song, and please come back and tell me I'm not crazy.
GP's grand finale is the heroic "Lethal Woman". Again, you will find the catchy licks building off of the strong rhythms foundation. The lyrics are angry and demanding to be liberated. The cohesion between the chorus, verse, solo, and monumental outro is phenomenal. The outro becomes this glorious swing between the guitar solo, snare blasts, and unanticipated addition of strings. GP could not have selected a better song to end, "At Her Majesty's Pleasure".
The entire album is a grand slam. Some of my other favorites are Comfortably Crazy, Your Majesty (remember Metallica Garage Inc, the bay thrashers could easily have covered this song on that album), The Ravisher, and Feed Me To The Lions. Oh why bother, they are all excellent rocking grooves and we should be raising a pint to these Englishmen.
Magnificent 9 out of 10.
James Atkinson - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Douglas McLaughlan - Bass, Vocals
Bill Steer - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Stuart Dobbins - Drums, Percussion