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Pearl Handled Revolver: If The Devil Cast His Net

The sharpshooters find their groove.

Pearl Handled Revolver If The Devil Cast His Net album cover

Three albums in and these psychedelic groovers from Bedford are getting the measure of their Hammond-dominated sound. They’re now down to a quartet after their bass player left but that’s given them more control over the way they build an atmosphere on each song.

Doors comparisons are inevitable but not difficult to dispel after a couple of tracks as Simon Rinaldo’s Hammond chords cut a distinctive swathe while singer Lee Vernon explores the fine line between singing and speaking. Andy Paris’s wah-wah guitar is all the more effective for being used sparingly and drummer Chris Thatcher finds plenty of rhythmic scope without getting too complex.

The delicate, melodic riffs on Someone Like You and the brooding menace of Absinthe In Adelaide are particularly effective. The only time it veers off course is on the title track that slavishly rips off Deep Purple’s Child In Time.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.