If you think Black Star Riders sounds like Thin Lizzy, you're right. After all the band was formed by four members of the current Thin Lizzy, including long time guitarist Scott Gorham. But this is likely not new information to you either. The boys simply wanted to step out of the Thin Lizzy moniker and record original material. Gorham and others have more than admitted the Lizzy influence is there, but they're also trying to move on. Call it evolution then.
The evolution is a good one, their second recording of original material, The Killer Instinct, "spot on" for the Irish hard rock band tradition. You can here the fundamentals of Brit rock, that touch of blues, and a spice of Celtic flavor. If any song nails that quintessential sound it's Soldiertown. Basically, it's an Irish pub drinking song in a rollicking hard rock groove. Love that twin guitar sound, but more on that in a moment.
And groove is a major player in BSR's bag of tricks. The band knows that a good back beat can be a formidable force in the structure of a song. That, and the huge piles of riffs which propel the songs as well. Twin guitar harmony and dueling leads leave their mark on every song. The duo of Gorham and Damon Johnson continues by nasty and rowdy. Catchy and all of these things on ass kicking rockers like Sex, Guns, & Gasoline, Bullet Blues, or You Little Liar.
The last song is probably the one that reminded me the least of Thin Lizzy. It's also the longest and perhaps the heaviest of the songs. Even though I thought it could have trimmed down, the guitarists get ample time burn of some kick ass leads. Finally, there is a ballad of sorts with Blindsided, if a ballad can be bracing at times. The guitar riffs and lead after the midpoint are quite sharp. Bottom line: The Killer Instinct is another fine and entertaining album of groove-laden, twin guitar harmony, melodic hard rock from Black Star Riders, putting them another step outside the shadow of Thin Lizzy. Easily recommended.
The Killer Instinct is another fine and entertaining album of groove-laden, twin guitar harmony, melodic hard rock from Black Star Riders, putting them another step outside the shadow of Thin Lizzy.
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