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Brian James: The Guitar That Dripped Blood

The Damned’s original guitarist/songwriter’s swaggering fifth solo album.

In appearance, Brian James has the look of a man who has approached his 40 years at the rock’n’roll coalface via the fast lane. But the signs here – insouciant sneer, coupled with reliably mind-shredding licks on his suitably sacramental offering Hail Mary – are that this son of the Stooges still gives as good as he gets.

The Detroit fuel he siphons so well conflagrates on Mean Streak, and petulant punky postures (Becoming A Nuisance) unrepentantly endure past middle age.

Growing up doesn’t have to mean forsaking detuned menace, and high-intensity guitar wrangling continues to be its own certain reward, as on the flamethrower strut of The Regulator.

A record to hold , squeeze and throttle you – complaining would be futile and not a little churlish.