Norwegians Black Bonzo had managed to build a solid reputation, with albums such as 2007’s Sound Of The Apocalypse taking an endearingly grandiose approach to progressive music. It was a shock then that, by 2009, the band had dissolved, only for most of them to reappear in 2009 re-branded as Gin Lady – with a fresh sound to match the new name.
Predictably, Black Bonzo fans were pretty disillusioned with their new classic rock sound, which owed more to the likes of Cream than Genesis. Mother’s Ruin takes a further jump in that direction, and will further deter any patiently remaining fans of their old band.
Indeed, such is their transformation that it’s almost impossible to detect any lingering traces of their prog roots. Rockin’ Horse sounds like an outtake from Status Quo’s In The Army Now album, whereas Shine On (Song For Terry) buzzes with the energy of the Black Crowes. It can only be hoped that Terry isn’t a prog snob.
Yet, for all the likely complaints from the prog community, the album may well be adored by fans of The Faces. These songs are sturdy, performed with aplomb, and on that basis, Mother’s Ruin is a fine recording.