Engineered and produced by Alan Davey and Nigel Potter. Mixed by Alan Davey. Mastered by Paul Cobbold. Recorded at Boot Hill Studios.
Bands that sound like other bands: AC/DC has Airbourne, Led Zeppelin has Kingdom Come (who were nicknamed ‘Kingdom Clone’; Gary Moore sang about them, with Ozzy, on his After the War (1989) track “Led Clones”)… it would appear that Motörhead has Gunslinger.
Everything about the band screams Motörhead: the Lemmy-like vocals, the dominant overdriven Rickenbacker bass sound, the song structures, even the inlay sleeve shows the band dressed in black, wearing cowboy hats–reminiscent of the Motörhead—Ace of Spades (1980) cover… though nowhere near as cool. (Sorry guys!)
What I found most fascinating, though, is that bassist/vocalist Alan Davey appears to be the antithesis of Motörhead. Whereas Lemmy left (…was fired from) Hawkwind to form Motörhead, Davey left a Motörhead-sounding band to join Hawkwind. He was with them from 1984–1996, and then again from 2001–2007 before reforming Gunslinger.
So… what’s the album like?
Well, first up: the artwork is really terrible. It’s like a someone has just discovered how to layer stock images in Photoshop. Take the surface of Mars, the sky, some lightning, a few explosions, a black circle, a skull with red eyes, a crudely hand-drawn band name, and a photo of three blokes… paste, new layer, paste, new layer, repeat… ta da!
But let’s not judge an album by its cover. Thankfully the music is better. Much better.
Sure it sounds like Motörhead (have I mentioned that already?), but it’s classic-era Motörhead that it sounds like. It sounds like the early albums, when Motörhead were fresh and young. But it (inevitably) has elements of Hawkwind in there too (they use synths and keyboards), as well as a kind of wild west feel that immediately put me in mind of Adam and the Ants.
My favourite tracks by far on the album are the excellent “Cyanide” and the blow-away “Warhorse” which features some fabulous solos, both on guitar and bass.
Motörhead-clone they may be, but this is straight-up, top notch British rock and roll. According to the Metal Archives, “Lemmy Kilmister has dubbed [Alan Davey] the second ‘bass assassin’. Good skills!
Review score: 90%