SHOT IN THE DARK
To be released on January 29, 2016 (Bad Reputation (Europe), Black Aces Music/Xelon Entertainment (Australia))
Some albums are just easy to review and enjoy. You hear the first few chords played and you know you’re likely going to really like the whole album. As you listen for the bass and drums to chime in to the opening guitar riff, the big question mark that remains is how the lead vocals will sound since the latter will likely make or break the rest of the album.
The intro guitar riff and sound on Black Aces‘ opening track on Shot In The Dark is an excellent example of a song that I instantly know that I will most likely enjoy from start to finish contingent on the lead vocals being half decent. The opening riff on “Shot in The Dark” has AC/DC screaming and bleeding all over it with the crispness and sound being exactly what I want to hear. By the time that Black Aces‘ lead vocalist Tyler Kinder opens his mouth, it is obvious that this is another AC/DC meets Airbourne type record. Yes, the AC/DC sound has been emulated by many and mastered by few but Black Aces are in the latter category almost perfectly regurgitating the AC/DC sound and taking it to the next and faster level very much like their countrymen Airbourne. There are many AC/DC copycat type bands out there and many are not worth your attention. Black Aces are worthy of your attention and more. On Shot In The Dark, the group takes their no bullshit rock n’ roll and shoves it in your face track after track, crunchy riff after crunchy riff, shrieking vocal after shrieking vocal. As to be expected, there are no ballads of any kind on Shot In The Dark. It’s simply ass kicking rock and roll through and through.
As far as evolving from their debut EP Hellbound, Black Aces haven’t really changed that much on Shot In The Dark except clean up their songs by taking away the recklessness in terms of stray guitar jams and solos that could sometimes be found on Hellbound and containing Kinder‘s vocals a little bit. If you listen to the songs on Shot In The Dark compared to such tracks as “Soulstealer” and “On The Rocks” that can be found on Hellbound, you’ll find that Black Aces have cleaned up their songs this time around to make them more accessible but without “selling out” in any way. While many will no doubt link Black Aces‘ sound on Shot In The Dark to AC/DC as they should since the AC/DC influences are definitely there, I find that Black Aces are much closer to Airbourne with their faster three chord delivery than AC/DC. If you closed your eyes, you might be hard pressed not think that songs such as “Let It Roll” or “Rough Touch” are not being played by Airbourne themselves. In terms of the songs themselves on Shot In The Dark, if you like one of them, odds are that you will like them all.
Whether Black Aces borrow too heavily from their counterparts Airbourne or not, one thing is for sure. Black Aces are very good at what they do and that is play straight up ass kicking and faster paced AC/DC influenced rock n’ roll. Considering that Airbourne are one of the best bands to have come out in the last decade, having another band that plays similar type rock n’ roll is cause for celebration! If you like Airbourne, you are most likely going to love Black Aces‘ Shot In The Dark.
01. Shot In The Dark
02. Girl Like You
03. Back In The Chain
04. Sick As A Dog
05. I’m Your Nightmare
06. Let It Roll
07. Rough Touch
08. Burnin Down The Highway
09. Take It To The Wire
10. The Walls
Tyler Kinder – lead guitar, lead vocals
Alex McMillan – bass
Pete McMillan – drums
Jarrad Morrice – rhythm guitar
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, January 2016