Review: Inglorious – 'Inglorious'
I am sure you may have heard the name Inglorious bandied about recently. They seem to be getting a big push at the moment. This usually fills me with dread, as I am a hater of all things hyped. So much so that, to this day, I have avoided films like Grease, Titanic, Top gun and E.T. I have found time and again that the end result never lives up to the hype but this is music, so in I delve…
…and WOW… just WOW. This is a lover of classic rock’s wildest, wettest dream. In the label’s PR blurb there is a question placed by singer Nathan James and it asks, “Why are the classic rock albums the likes of Stones, Zep, Whitesnake and Bad Company so Awesome?” The answer given is all about energy and organic recording, but I will go much further, and let you know exactly how Inglorious are going to slot right in there.
For me, the finest classic rock bands have pretty much always been British, and have been dripping in riffs, groove, and attitude. For all the different bands and sounds, they have all had one thing in common, a singer who could carry a tune, put on a performance, scream like a stuck pig, and have soul oozing from every pore of their body. This is where Inglorious come knocking on your door.
Singer, Nathan, could be an evil scientists DNA experiment which has melded all the best parts from Gillan, Rodgers, Coverdale, Jagger, Tyler, and a little sprinkling of the new in Cormac from The Answer. He covers all their ground strokes, and more. To say I was blown away with this performance is an understatement. I have not heard soaring vocals like this for a very long time.
Vocals, however only take you so far. Without quality songwriting and musicians, it is only going to carry you for an album or two. The band has some excellent stock in Wil Taylor, Colin Parkinson, and Phil Beaver, not ‘newbies’, by any stretch but everything that has gone before has just been outshone in 11 songs and one beautiful presentation. The band is completed by Andreas Eriksson on lead guitar… and hey, the guy only went and learned the whole album two weeks prior to recording the debut.
The record kicks off with “Until I Die”. Some ’70s keyboards kick in, with echoes of the mighty Jon Lord himself, before the beat builds and the riffle begins. This is a mix of Zep and The Answer, twisted and melded into a stormer of an opening track. Nathan and Eriksson work some magic here, like the toxic twins for today’s era.
“Breakaway” is Deep Purple, pure and simple. The riffs, the drums, and I could swear that is Ian Gillan in his prime, the blood is flowing from my ear drums and I have no crystal glasses left in one piece. “High Flying Gypsy” is an outstanding track, and I want to meet the guy… he sounds like a well decent bloke. Not only does it kick in like ‘Kashmir’, it raises the bar to a new level.
“Holy Water” keeps the level of class going. Each song is different and they have not stuck to a formula other than “we are going to rock the hell out of your world”. This song starts, and the only thing ringing round my head is one of my favourite bands right now… The Temperance Movement. It is classic rock for the new age, a twist of the best Free songs in the now.
With “Warning” we get lazy, distorted, vinyl era-sounding guitars. This is picked up quickly into some Blackmore-dripping fretwork, and that great bond of the Gillan vocals again. At this point all I want is to see Inglorious live. “Bleed For You” has more soaring vocals and guitars with a sorrowful overtone.
“Girl Got a Gun” starts with a Dio/Sabbath intro and goes into a upbeat, swaggering monster. The guitar work is more reminiscent of Slash and breaks out like a bitch. Back to Zep for “You’re Mine” and although I am name dropping here, this is only to give you a feel. I could always appreciate what Zep did for music, but I was never a real fan. It was all a bit lazy, hippie and loose for me, and this is where Inglorious whip up the changes. They make it far rockier, far more ready for a live setting. Nothing pretentious and outer dimensional. They have made it accessible, dirty, and sexy. To put it another way… these songs were made to fuck to.
The song ‘Inglorious’ could have been written by the mighty Ronnie James Dio himself, and this song could have slotted into ‘Holy Diver’ without a blink of the eye. It is a mighty and uplifting song, think “Eye Of The Tiger” with balls. This is a definite highlight, and a song that has been on repeat for days.
“Wake”, for me, was the weakest track. It veered off to a kind of Mr Big area. I cannot see this one sticking in a set list down the line. The band are too good to drop into the ballad goodie bag. This takes us to the closing track “Unaware”, and I wonder if the band are wise to how good this album is. I realise you put blood, sweat, and tears into a recording, but I am also sure you get so accustomed to the songs you lose perspective to a certain point. I can assure you this is one hell of a piece of music.
This leaves me with only two things to say. Firstly, the only way I can’t see this band succeeding is if the live performances are not up to the quality on display in this recording. For me, this will seal the deal. Secondly, if they can produce the goods live (as I hope and pray they can), I have a statement for a certain Mr Andy Copping. You say there are no new bands to fill the void of the aging headliners of today. Well I reckon I have just heard a band that, well within a decade, will be treading the boards of your main stage at the end of the night.
We have a group that could be massive here. I am talking ‘Guns N Roses’ massive. A new band from an old era that takes rock to the masses again.
Review: Ritchie Birnie
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