THE SWAMP BORN ASSASSINS - Dead Man's Train (Album)

 
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ALLY CUTHBERT

 

With their origins in Glasgow a couple of years ago, SWAMP BORN ASSASSINS started life as a small group of musicians jamming together and putting out some heavy blues sounds. Needing a little polish and production before laying down their tracks, friends Alf Vesterelv and Tommy Granli from Norwegian band The Maudlin Hounds were enlisted to finalise the recording of their first CD ‘Smell The Mud’.

 

And now, ready to build on their initial success with their second album, ‘Dead Man’s Train’, guitarist Andy Christie and bassist Allen Bell have been drafted in to give a big sound and larger than life stage presence for what should be a memorable album launch night in Glasgow on 14th June.

 

The NorWeegie connection is still strong on the new album, as Andy Christie confirmed:

“Alf and Tommy really helped define the Swamp Sound, so there was no question when it came to who we wanted to mix and master the new album.”

 

Andy is a man of many bands, and will also be onstage early doors for the launch party with his other band LAST ALIBI, which also features Allen Bell, where they will be playing tracks from the bands new self-titled EP. LAST ALIBI are a completely different blend of rock, as Andy explained to me:

“I’m really lucky to be working with a lot of great bands and artists. Every band I’m in has amazing songwriters, players, and a strong front man/woman, who all have their own unique personalities and style.”

 

‘Dead Mans Train’ opens with the title track, featuring not only Tommy on bass, but Linkan Anderson on lead guitar, and Alf on backing vocals, allowing Moffat a little time to blow some howling harmonica. With so many musicians involved, it’s no surprise there is a big meaty sound to this album, and although this is a heavy blues southern album, ‘Dead Mans Train’ has a distinctive bass buzz that was Lemmys’ trademark for so many years.

‘Blot Out The Sun’ carries on with the heavy fuzzy guitar and deep bass, warning us of the environmental damage we are doing to our planet.

 

Third song in, is the first single taken from the album, ‘Weeping Tree’, which has a deep and dark throbbing bass dominating the track, with a light melodic chorus, interspersed with a little southern slide guitar.

‘Better Off Dead’ starts with a foreboding doom-laden bass, picked up on by the lead guitar, and carried into this horror film soundtrack. If there is a monster in the swamp, this is the beat he’s dancing to.

 

Alf Vesterely joins in again on lead guitar and backing vocals for the funky blues of ‘Sharpshot Johnny’. Moffat’s harmonica hits the sweet spot in the break, and Vesterly does his best Chuck Berry in this upbeat sequel to ‘Johnny B Good’, when Johnny goes bad!

‘Crank It Up’ is an extreme road trip, with the accompaniment of a heavy riff, and pounding drums, that sound like a pile up on the motorway, full of metal and mayhem. 

 

Kicking off with a rousing rebel yell, ‘Shotgun Shells and Whisky’ is a good ol’ southern drink fuelled stomper that typifies the mantra of the Assassins, good time rock and roll.

Of all the songs on the album, I think ‘Rise Up’ sums up who and what the SWAMP BORN ASSASSINS are, a song that includes bagpipes, heavy riffs, the sounds of battle, and more rebel yells than a Billy Idol gig, it merges traditional Scottish music with Nordic rock, all blended together in a rebel song.

 

Channelling the best of the early Stones, when they were still young and cool, ‘Run To The Wildfire’ is a throwback to seventies rock, full of screaming harmonica, shredding guitar, and relentless drums.

Finally, to finish the album is the haunting, seven-minute epic ‘Madness Of His Reverence’. Almost Sabbath like with its dark and disturbing moody lyrics, and lengthy guitar solos.

 

The album pre order is open now, with the launch in Glasgow’s Audio on 14th June. The band will also be appearing at several festivals over the summer, and finishing the year at Winterstorm in Troon. I’ll leave the final word to Andy:

“The album launch is not to be missed, we will be performing the new album in its entirety, as well as some fans favourites from the first album. I don’t want to give too much away, but with it being such a special night for us, you can expect more theatrics and swampiness than ever before!”

 

Track list:

1. Dead Man’s Train

2. Blot Out The Sun

3. Weeping Tree

4. Better Off Dead

5. Sharp Shot Johnny

6. Crank It Up

7. Shotgun Shells and Whisky

8. Rise Up

9. Run To The Wildfire

10. Madness Of His Reverence

 

Swamp Born Assassins are:

Charlie Moffat - Vocals/Harmonica

Stevie Craven - Drums

Andy (Paws) Christie – Guitar

Allen Bell – Bass

Kirsty Moffat - Backing vocals

Jamie Moffat - Guitar.

 
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