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Black Spiders Sons of the North Review

Album. Released 2011.  

BBC Review

Boisterous booze-along anthems, all big riffs and sweaty loins.

Mike Diver 2011

If your idea of a perfect night out is straight into the pub after work, onto a gig in some flea-ridden basement off a stinking alley in the roughest part of town, and subsequently swinging by a late-night drinking hole where the shots flow freely and the jukebox pumps out nothing but riffs the size of cruise-liners while the barmaids flirt outrageously with anyone sporting a beard or ample tattoos – or, ideally, both – then, please: stop reading this immediately.

And get thee to a record store, to purchase the debut album by "the United Kingdom’s very own rock juggernaut" (press release words, there – but if they stick, why peel ‘em away?) Black Spiders. You will be as completely-not-disappointed as the time when Kerry from Slayer called you "dude", or when you picked Bruce Dickinson up a cup of sponsor-brand lager backstage at Massive Rock Festival of the Week, 2008. You will hear, and feel, the pure rock‘n’roll of this 10-track set from the very first seconds – which claim, confidently, "There’s a brand-new force in town." Brand-new, maybe not – this sort of liquor-and-lust, riffs-and-raunch fare has been peddled by many before. But Black Spiders have nailed the formula so well that Sons of the North is far from simple pastiche – it sounds zesty, fresh, even when its base elements are (surely!) at the very end of their recycling life.

The album’s success is a result of two very important factors. One, these musicians have a lot of history between them. Without naming past band names, they’ve known the lifestyle for a long time now, and each brings a wealth of experience to the table. And two, they’ve toured these songs hard, and the recorded versions are so super-tight you’d struggle to slip a size-zero model through the gaps between devil-horn lyricism and crunching lead guitars. Oh, and there’s an equally important third reason why Sons of the North should really connect with the head-banger masses: it’s a lot of fun. You don’t title a song KISS Tried to Kill Me if you’re without a sense of humour.

Duff from Guns N’ Roses reckons this lot are geniuses. Several rock magazines have awarded this album top marks. Frankly, if you’re not already parting with your cash, you don’t like boisterous booze-along anthems and have read this far by accident. Maybe there’s something wrong with your eyes. Sorry about that.

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