Black Aces: Shot In The Dark

Denim-clad Melbourne quartet’s high-voltage debut.

Black Aces Shot In The Dark album cover

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It doesn’t have to be a complicated business, this songwriting lark. And no one has ever demonstrated that truth more effectively than Australia’s most famous rock export.

Yet while many have since employed AC/DC’s riff-rhythm-n’-rasp template, it’s not an easy one to perfect. So even if Black Aces make no attempt to hide their key influence (they even cover Girl’s Got Rhythm), credit is due for writing a clutch of instantly infectious riffs to punctuate that familiar dum-dum-thump rhythm section and gritty chime of guitars.

Lead singer Tyler Kinder then rips a fair old hole in the speakers with his howl, backed up on choruses such as Girl Like You and the title track by the gang-chant backing vocal we know and love. Most importantly, it’s all shot through with a vintage, low-slung, heavy blues groove that’s all too absent in a lot of 21st-century heavy rock.

Can’t believe it’s not AC/DC? Us neither, but it hits the spot in equally satisfying style.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock