Bernie Tormé: Blackheart

Strat-strangling axeman throws down a dirty dozen.

TODO alt text

Forever known more for his trademark Stratocaster sound – dirty, fuzzed-up riffing and whammy bar howls and dive-bombs – than for stints alongside Ian Gillan, Ozzy and Dee Snider, Dubliner Tormé is not about to change his style now.

These 12 songs range from the punky Golden Pig through rockers (Better Days, Snake In The Garden) to the folky acoustic Miles To Babylon, a plaintive ballad with bhodran that hints at Tormé’s Irish roots, albeit punctuated by a thunderous electric solo.

All, though, are united by a live (and well-rehearsed) sound that suggests he and his rhythm section haven’t wasted any time on overdubs.

Some of the songs teeter on the razor’s edge between spontaneous and demo-quality, but the best – Flow and Steady Roller Blues – are excellent.