BlitZ are a three piece band from Nottingham consisting of guitarist Kevin Simpson, vocalist/bassist Stuart Corden and drummer Mathew Davis. BlitZ released a 7-track EP in 2016 receiving great reviews. Combining a flair for melodic, powerful riff-fuelled anthems with showmanship, and such diverse influences as the pomp rock of Queen, Metallica, AC/DC and Kiss, BlitZ released their debut full length album on 1st January 2018. I've seen these guys live a few times now and they always put on a show so I'm looking forward to this.
The album starts with 'I Believe' - a track which anybody who has seen these guys live will recognise - "they can't take our rock and roll" - this is a big part of their live show. This is a great opener which showcases Davis' staunch drums, Simpson's impressive guitar and Corden's gravelly voice nicely. This has become an anthem for BlitZ and their fans - check out the banner when you go see them! This track reminds me a little of KISS. It's great fun, gets you moving and demonstrates that these guys know a thing or two about making music. 'Rock Me' is new to me and I love it. There is a sultry quality to Corden's vocal, and the drums are imposing in this song which gives it a heavier, harder feel. "You've got me under your spell" guys. 'Falling Down' is altogether dirtier and has a sleaze feel. It's a really short track, as are many on the album, but hard hitting and memorable. This track, along with 'Born To Rock' and 'Another World Away' were re-recorded from the band's EP.
'Only the Strong Survive' has a great classic guitar-driven intro, and Corden joins the list of singers who have a trademark sound, the people where even if you've never heard the song before, you instantly recognise their voice for its distinct sound. The drums are pounding in this track; I'm usually a guitar girl but I love the drums in this. '99 Ways' is fun and reminiscent of 80s big hair rock stars singing about trying to pick up hot chicks - "so hot, she burns". The hook is bold and the chorus is feel good and catchy. Next is the ballad, 'Never Give Up'. The guys are joined by the sweet-sounding tinkling of keys and this track has exactly what you expect from a rock ballad - riffage, melody and anguish. The texture of Corden's voice means that the song isn't too sentimental but has a tough-guy sensuality.
'Queen Of The Night' ramps it up a notch again and I can't wait to see this track live. Simpson has some serious skills on the guitar - I think he's channeling Quo in this. Corden seems to be back in his comfort zone vocally. 'Don’t Look Back' is one of the best guitar-led tracks on the album, with a couple of very stylish short solos, Corden is at his raspy best, and the beat is thunderous - I love this guy's drums, prevalent but not overwhelming. The lyrics advise no regrets and I can guarantee they won't have any regrets on this track. This is the best on the album for me. I want to sing and I want to dance; And just cos I can't do either, doesn’t mean I won't. Be warned.
'Another World' reminds me of 90s arena rock and seems to take a stab at the current obsession with talent shows and reality TV. Again, there's some really nice guitar work. 'One In A Million' starts with a Queen-esque harmony and the track quickly turns into a primal, satisfying hard rock track with sharp, pointy edges. The beat and the hooks are cerebral, seriously. I'm impressed, guys.
'Love Is A War' is a ballad with a foot in the deep south. In my opinion, this is a better ballad than the previous as I'm a sucker for southern rock and cowboys. The guitar is lush, the vocals come-hither sexy and the drum beat definitive. This is the longest track on the album and I'm so happy that it's a great one. The final track is 'Born To Rock' which, if you're familiar with BlitZ is like an old pair of slippers that fit just right. This appears to be a closing statement of fact - BlitZ were "born to rock…til my dying day".
Well, this is better than I expected to be honest. I have the EP and was expecting much of the same but BlitZ have moved up a gear. They've demonstrated that they're not just a local covers band but that they are in fact contenders. Don't forget us little folk when you make the big-time. I've now ordered the CD. So much for a lean January. If you like no-nonsense rock and roll, check this album out.
Only The Strong Survive
Never Give Up
Queen Of The Night
Don't Look Back
Another World Away*
One In A Million
Love Is A War
Born To Rock*
(* Re-recorded from the EP)
Kevin Simpson - guitar
Stuart Corden - vocals and bass
Mathew Davis - drums