Thin Lizzy Offshoot Black Star Riders Releasing Debut Album In May
April 23, 2013
Black Star Riders — the new band formed by Thin Lizzy alumni Ricky Warwick (vocals), Scott Gorham (guitar), Damon Johnson (guitar) and Marco Mendoza (bass) with new addition Jimmy DeGrasso on drums — will release their debut album ‘All Hell Breaks Loose” on May 28 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
While Thin Lizzy will continue on an occasional basis, Black Star Riders is a full-time band described as “the next step in the evolution of the Thin Lizzy story”. ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ was recorded and mixed by producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Rush) at The Cave studios in Malibu, California. Mastering duties were handled by Bob Ludwig (Jimi Hendrix, Rush, KISS, Led Zeppelin) at Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland, Maine. One listen to ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ and it’s almost as if the boys never left town.
Black Star Riders formed in December 2012, when members of the most recent line-up of Thin Lizzy decided to record new material, but chose not to release it under the Thin Lizzy name both “out of respect to Phil Lynott and the legacy he created” and “because this band has to stand on its own”. While Gorham insists that the new band could not sound like Thin Lizzy without Lynott, both Johnson and Warwick believe that the new material has a “classic Lizzy vibe”. For such seasoned professionals — Gorham (Thin Lizzy, 21 Guns), Warwick (The Almighty, Circus Diablo), Johnson (Alice Cooper, Brother Cane), Mendoza (Whitesnake, Ted Nugent) and DeGrasso (Alice Cooper, Megadeth)– creativity and craft have always been key. What’s most engaging, and even courageous, about Black Star Riders is that no one in the band shied away from evoking Thin Lizzy’s best qualities, be that in Warwick’s Northern Ireland enunciation and lyrical sensibilities or in the fluid twin leads that Gorham and Johnson effortlessly weave. The Thin Lizzy vibe can be heard joyously and with a robust, rich pride on the album’s lead single “Bound for Glory”.
“The Black Star Riders record is wholly and completely influenced by Thin Lizzy, by, specifically, the classic line-up of the band between 1974 and 1980,” says Johnson, a southerner, once a member of Alice Cooper’s band along with DeGrasso and leader of the effusively regarded Brother Cane. “That’s the line-up fans gravitated towards the most. It’s that period of time creatively that had the biggest impact, the most staying power. It’s certainly the stuff that changed my life, long before I ever dreamt of meeting Scott Gorham and Brian Downey. So once I joined Thin Lizzy and the discussion of writing came up, obviously I was elated, because it was an open palette.”
Clocking out at 45 minutes, the beauty and surprise of ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is that it hugely embraces, and then delivers the unexpected: a magical, organic, classic rock experience that wells up emotionally into that space occupied and exemplified so well by Thin Lizzy, UFO and Queen in the 1970’s. Together with album artwork by Gil Elvgren (the most renowned pin-up artist in the history of American Illustration) the record harkens back to the idea that classic rock is timeless; that the coalescence of great songwriting trumps any formulaic checklist each and every time.
And we should have expected it, really. Black Star Riders is nothing less than its own army of talented musicians and songwriters joining forces with a great and grounded producer, all intensely assessing and refashioning the inter-generational legacy of one of the greatest bands in all of rock history. Scott Gorham, for one, thinks the late, great Phil Lynott would be down with the program. “Phil would dig it,” he muses. “In fact, I think he’d like to be in the band.”
‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ track listing:
01. All Hell Breaks Loose
02. Bound For Glory
03. Kingdom Of The Lost
05. Kissin’ The Ground
06. Hey Judas
07. Hoodoo Voodoo
08. Valley Of The Stones
09. Someday Salvation
10. Before The War
11. Blues Ain’t So Bad
Courtesy of www.sleazeroxx.com