After conquering the literary world with his angling memoir, Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith is in a buoyant mood. Here, he teams up with Winery Dogs’ six-string virtuoso Richie Kotzen, and goes straight for the bluesy, hard rock jugular. The results, it hardly needs saying, are aimed squarely at guitar freaks, but these are deftly crafted songs, with the gruffly soulful Smith and the more bombastic Kotzen taking turns to sing their hearts out. Taking My Chances and the fiery Running are both riff-driven and catchy as hell, Scars is a brooding, downbeat affair that recalls King’s X in their 90s pomp and Solar Fire struts like old school Irish blues-rocker Rory Gallagher. A couple of corny misfires aside, Smith/Kotzen nails the simple stuff, with class.
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