It was around three months ago now that City Of Thieves made their first appearance on these pages and they have been firmly on my radar ever since. The occasion that day was the release of the lyric video for this EP’S title track Incinerator and to cut a long story short that track made a big impression on me.
I’m going to be right up front with this one and tell you that this record is everything that I hoped it would be. Records like this make my job a piece of cake.
Incinerator kicks off with that title track that I love so much; it’s a big, bold, swaggering slice of hard rock which sets the tone in awesome fashion for what is to follow. I’m a huge fan of the guitar work, and the vocal from Jamie Lailey has this brilliant old school feel to it which really complements the tracks so well.
Buzzed Up City sees the band plunge firmly into AC/DC territory, the resemblance is uncanny and there’s even a little bit of Airbourne thrown in for good measure but frankly when it sounds this good who cares. To say that this track was another barnstorming effort would be doing it a serious disservice. This is the band in a nutshell, no frills, straight from the gut, hard rock. No pretence and messing around, it shoots from the hip and will tear down walls.
Following track Lay Me To Waste is my favourite on the record by a distance. On an EP full of high points it’s this tune which soars highest. Honestly, this beast is such a badass son of bitch. It would sleep with your girlfriend and then send you the video just to prove a point. The hook is a beauty, tinged with blues and the finest bourbon, and the guitar solo which leads the track towards its conclusion is absolutely majestic. I’d buy the EP just for this song; it really is that good.
Penultimate tune Here Comes The Shot comes flying out of the traps at breakneck speed and it doesn’t let up until it has beaten you into submission. It’s a runaway freight train which hits like a prime Joe Frazier. Short on finesse but high on balls to the wall hard rock rhythms if this track doesn’t leave you in need of a breather then you’re doing it wrong.
Incidentally if it’s a breather that you need the final track, a live acoustic rendition of Mr 50/50 just happens to provide it. Naturally, that vocal that I’m such a big fan of really comes to the fore along with a nice little harmonica solo. It’s a real old school spit and sawdust type of a track and it rounds out the EP in magnificent style.
I had high hopes for Incinerator by my God did it deliver. I can pretty much guarantee right now that this record is going to be appearing in a hell of a lot of ‘Best of’ lists come December, including mine. Every track brings something different to the table and then takes turns to smash it to bits. There are no weak links, and in Lay Me To Waste the band have created what might just be my favourite rock track of the year.
Incinerator is absolutely magnificent. What a damn record!
Incinerator is out now.