Black Bombers - Break It Down album review

Brummie trio pull off Motor City speed rampage.

Black Bombers Break It Down album cover

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Recorded live in a disused factory, there’s a rare sense of Detroit-style uncaged energy driving this Birmingham trio’s debut album. Its raw, sometimes gloriously shambolic, power even recalls the Stooges’ seminal Fun House – if the sessions had been gatecrashed by The Damned with the Pink Fairies in tow.

While tracks such as Whiplash and Save Me evoke the MC5 at their experimental rowdiest, tossing breakneck power-riffs under singer-guitarist Alan Byron’s Iggy-snarled vocals, singles Crazy and That Kind display a band also capable of delivering short, sharp sonic attacks, the former riding brutal Bo Diddley tattoos laid down by bassist Darren Birch and drummer Dave Twist.

Nameless crawls through Howlin’ Wolf’s backyard blues hoodoo and No Disgrace dry-humps US garage-punk, but the band always stumble back to that special demonic spirit which drove the Stooges, to arrive like unruly guests at a dinner party; very welcome in these over-polished times.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!