Black Star Riders: The Killer Instinct

Thin Lizzy tributants get stretched on album number two

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Barely a year after their debut All Hell Breaks Loose, there’s already a second album from the Scott Gorham-founded Thin Lizzy tribute band formerly known as Thin Lizzy – tactfully renamed in light of the fact that the band now consists almost entirely of American cock-rock journeymen – with Scott’s guitar the only link to Phil Lynott’s Celtic legends.

The debts to Lynott are still ample, not least in the vocals of ex-Almighty frontman Ricky Warwick. His studied replication of The Wild One’s self-possessed dusky inflections border on Stars In Their Eyes at times.

The songwriting often rings with echoes of former glories too, like the flagrant flashes of Emerald on the galloping Soldierstown.

Although studded with catchy nuggets of good-time hard rock by seasoned pros, there are also mystifying duffers like Finest Hour, with its cloying McBusted chorus, and a sense that BSR’s output is slightly outstripping their inspiration./o:p

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.