Fans of no frills heavy rock & metal will get a kick out of the debut from GMT, the new band comprised of guitarist/vocalist Bernie Torme (Gillan/Torme/Ozzy), bassist John McCoy (Mammoth/Gillan) and drummer Robin Guy (Bruce Dickinson/Faith No More). These guys deliver eleven solid tracks of ballsy, blues inflected biker rock somewhat along the lines of early Motorhead, complete with tight rhythms and Torme's wild guitar flights. There's an extremely raw feel here, as if the trio just went into the studio and ripped this out live, yet the songs are all highly memorable and just good plain fun.
Listen to Torme litterally peel the paint off the wall with his scorching blues-rock solo on "Down to Here" (one of the albums more moodier pieces), and the band just kicks into overdrive on the faster, almost speed metal meets punk tracks like "Cannonball" and the title track. Bernie provides the vocals, and his "rough and ready" punk inspired vocal attack works well on bruisers like the catchy "Can't Beat Rock 'n' Roll" and the energetic "No Justice". McCoy's "mammoth" bass grooves lead off the crunchy "Miss the Buzz", a plodding heavy rock number with equally large guitar riffs from Torme, and "Longer the Tomorrow" sees the guitarist lashing out some complex guitar patterns while McCoy and Guy dig in deep. Bernie's solo on this one is chilling, with Guy's maniacal drum beats raging behind him. The final three tracks on the album sees the band getting into some different sounds, and this adds some nice variety to the back end of the CD. "Summerland" is a atmospheric piece with some deft picking and occasional whammy bar screams from Torme, and "Deireadh An Samhradh (Summers end)" is a brooding little instrumental. Both these pieces add a nice psychedelic flavor. The final piece "Vincenzo (Bella Grande Pumpo Del Amore)" is a bombastic rocker, with guest keyboards from Colin Townes (a mini-Gillan reunion!), and makes for a spirited ending to a fun CD.
Perhaps not the most refined album, but I don't think it was ever meant to be. These three have an obvious chemistry together, and it really shows. Torme is one of the most underrated guitarists around, and his skills are in the spotlight here, as well as the excellent rhythm work of both McCoy and Guy. Fans of Torme's solo work, as well as the raucous hard rock & metal sounds of vintage Gillan or Motorhead, would be well advised to check out Bitter & Twisted, and be prepared to have a lot of fun with it.
2. Rocky Road
3. Bitter & Twisted
4. Can't Beat Rock 'n' Roll
5. Down To Here
6. No Justice
7. Miss The Buzz
8. Longer The Tomorrow
10. Deireadh An Samhradh (Summers end)
11. Vincenzo (Bella Grande Pumpo Del Amore)