Black Star Riders are a band that has had to go a long way to get out from under their own shadows, and I think for the most part they have done that by forging their own identity and having produced two high-octane rock albums so far, and they look to continue the trend with their third album Heavy Fire.
I will admit that Black Star Riders have passed by my radar a few times and I’ve somewhat cautiously poked my head around the corner and had a look what’s cooking, but with this album, I decided to dive in head first and really sink into what this band is all about. Now I said at the top that they have fought to form their own identity and that is true to a degree, but Black Star Riders still make great rock & roll in the same vein as Thin Lizzy and I don’t think they will ever fully shake that off, but that is totally fine in and of itself.
This is an album that just feels big, this is the equivalent of a summer festival in an album, loads of big riffs, songs about drinking, loving and boys being boys. This is the soundtrack to a misspent youth, like the old days when rock albums told stories in their songs, and everything smelt like whiskey and cigarettes, and it was a little dirtier and no one was afraid of harsh words hurting their feelings. There is an authenticity at play that makes it feel a little worn and a little lived in, like an old jean jacket that you haven’t worn in a while, but it still fits and has a picture of an ex-girlfriend in the pocket, It is almost impossible to pick a bad track on here, as everyone feels like a winner.
This is big, brash old school rock and roll, the way the devil intended it. It won’t reinvent the wheel but it will certainly put some new tyres on it.