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Gin Lady: Gin Lady
Many a prog fan were bummed when in late 2010 popular Swedish prog act Black Bonzo announced that they were calling it quits after 3 albums. That sad news was quickly brightened however when a few months later a new band was revealed featuring former members of Black Bonzo & The All Janet, who where now calling themselves Gin Lady. Fast forward to 2012 and the bands self-titled debut is ready to be released, which shows a move to more classic & heavy rock styles.
Gin Lady is comprised of Joakim Karlsson, Magnus Kärnebro, Anthon Johansson, Fredrik Normark and Klas Holmgren, and it's no surprise that they find themselves on Transubstans Records, which has shown to be a great home for Scandinavian bands who love that retro vibe. You can hear a definite Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Captain Beyond, Warhorse, Alice Cooper, Iron Butterfly, and Blue Oyster Cult influence going on here, with tasty guitar licks, loads of Hammond organ, and powerful vocals. Tunes such as "Rebirth" and "Get It On" rock hard with swirling Hammond and heavy blues rock guitar riffs, while the catchy "Lend Me a Hand" has a rootsier feel, coming close to the sounds of the Rolling Stones or The Faces. "Deja Vu" is a great heavy rocker with deep grooves, sort of like a strange marriage of Wolfmother and The Black Crowes, and "The Rest" is haunting, moody prog rock, with ominous Hammond and dreamy vocals, a track that sounds like it could have been recorded in 1971 and come off a vintage Uriah Heep or Atomic Rooster album. Next up is a blistering hard rocker called "Bloodsuckin' Babies" featuring stomping Hammond, piano, and guitar riffs plus vocals with plenty of swagger, and this is followed by the equally heavy "Bottom of the Sea", another grinding rocker that has early '70s written all over it. Gin Lady doesn't bother to hide their love for classic Deep Purple on the raging "Confrontation Shakedown", and proggy closer "Hold On" sees some Yes influence creep in on the vocal front to invade the moody arrangements.
As much as Black Bonzo will be missed, this debut from Gin Lady is very impressive and signals the arrival of a band who really can put together some splendid '70s inspired hard rock. More of this please!!!
Get It On
Lend Me a Hand
Bottom of the Sea
Added: May 26th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
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|Gin Lady: Gin Lady
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-05-26 11:48:39
When is a Black Bonzo not a Black Bonzo?? Well, when it's a Gin Lady of course!
Having released three excellent 70's heavy rock inspired progressive albums, Black Bonzo would appear to be no more. Although amid internet speculation of label problems and management issues, the truth is that while the mighty BB have disappeared, they have in reality morphed into the equally bizarrely named Gin Lady. That however is not quite all that has changed, with the Black Bonzo pattern of eschewing the progressive side of things from album to album, becoming complete with the simply titled Gin Lady. Don't worry though, the Hammond organ is still in strong evidence and the seductively mad tones of Magnus Lindgren still hold court behind the microphone, leaving you in no doubt exactly who this outfit once were and in many ways still are.
While some of the band's earlier followers may be disappointed by this almost inevitable straightening of styles, anyone who revelled in the excellent The Guillotine Drama album from Black Bonzo, will have no problem latching onto the chunky, grooving tones that Gin Lady serve up. The mixture of Hammond and vintage guitar sounds immediately whisk you back to early Uriah Heep and while that has always been a strong influence for this band (whatever their name), it really is an inescapable comparison now. However, considering that Gin Lady are every bit as good as The Heep were, even at their very best, then this is one comparison that can only be intended as a compliment. While the whole album does sound "vintage", the production is crisp and clear, without ever losing the gloriously thick, dense vibe that the music conveys. The opening blast of "Rebirth" proving to be instantly captivating. From there is doesn't matter whether it is the swift trot of "Get It On", the instantly memorable thump and groove of "Bloodsuckin' Babies", or the hypnotic sway of "Confrontation Shakedown", there isn't a moment that goes by on Gin Lady that isn't guaranteed to have you grinning from ear to ear. Some progressive moments do linger on, with an extended Hammond versus guitar work-out on the lengthy closer "Hold On", while the simpler blast of "Bottom Of The Sea" still contains a scintillating guitar solo classy enough to amaze and delight.
Let us not forget the wonderful music that Black Bonzo served up to us across three excellent releases. However there's no need to mourn, instead raise your glasses to the Gin Lady and look forward to many more great albums to come. This self-titled effort is a stunning re-start.
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