One of the finest blues-rock bands out there, Gorilla Riot released their debut, ‘Peach’, to an already established fan base. With appetites already wetted by the singles ‘Half Cut,’ ‘Young Guns’ and most recently, ‘Black Heart Woman,’ an ominous tale of a dark-hearted beauty that has a blues riff so heavy Black Sabbath would most certainly approve. The question was whether Gorilla Riot’s Peach of an album would bear any further fruit.
Opening track ‘Riders I’ is a heavy hitter. Interesting and engaging, the hypnotic wahwah guitar draws the ear, then packs a punch. Delivering vocal layering and a wall of sound that is heard for the duration. Impressive from the start, ‘Riders II’ raises the bar by adding vocals, dirty guitar and glittering cymbals, gathering momentum for the rest of this debut release.
With one of the most driving guitar intros, and a nod to Bill Hailey and The Comets, ‘Still Doing Time’ is pure heavy rock until you hear what lies beneath. Heartbreak and longing hidden behind hooks and almost fatal gunshot drums, it bears the weight of a heavy heart, the unexpressed frustration captured well within verse and melody.
5 guys from Manchester, Gorilla Riot offer that heady mix of hooks and grooves, vocal harmonies and pulsing bass and drums, that grabs you by the hips and the heart – demanding your aural pleasure. Arjun Bhishma’s voice is everything you need from a rock singer, he is full of emotion and soul. It is easy to see why these guys have been described as southern rock, but really, there is much more on offer here. Guitar and additional vocals are provided by Charlie T and Liam Henry, and both execute their duties with expertise, whilst adding to the harmonious depth of the Gorilla Riot sound. Bass and drums are the pulsating throbbing heart and backbone of Peach. James Degnen and Will Lewis respectively, their presence is felt with force in every moment of the album and is a feel it in your guts powerful one.
Bass, rolling like thunder, guitar cutting through like a knife. ‘Keep your demons baby, I aint got time to let em in’, hedonistic, raunchy and catchier than any disease. ‘Reckless Till Death’ is sure to be a favourite at live shows. ‘Mind Your Head’ evokes the sound of Seattle. Soundgarden meets Audioslave, in sound and lyrical content, sublime and somewhat melancholy in its beauty.
‘Prayer For The Suckers’ delights from the beginning. For any fans of Stone Temple Pilots out there, you will adore the light and dark in this self-effacing lyrical and melodic journey, with its Slash style shredding enhancing its charm. Drown your sorrows is the order of the day. ‘Chuggin’ might be a tale of woe, but it is mighty in its drums and bass. With guitars so heavy, punctuated with a clean riff so sharp they could slit your skin and make you bleed. ‘Chuggin’ is a standout, force to be reckoned with track, a perfect way to end the album.
Twelve tracks in and the overall feeling, vibe and essence, of the album remains, but each slice of Peach is a different flavour. Gorilla Riot rock like Sabbath and roll like Zeppelin, with a little bit of southern Skynyrd. And, if you’ll pardon the pun, Peach also has its stone (r) grunge elements too, so, although firmly rooted in the blues, there really is a mix of genres here to please many a taste. Go ahead and take a bite, this Peach is, most definitely, sweet…