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Attica Rage - '88MPH' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e4/7b/00/attica-rage-88mph-97-1371256095.jpg Hot

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An album that deserves to launch Attica Rage into the wider metal conscience.

Back at the tail end of 2011 Glasgow’s Attica Rage unleashed their second album ‘Road Dog’ with a roar that matched early The Almighty and hinted that the four piece of Jonny Parr (vocals/guitar), Richie Rage (drums), Stevie Bell (lead guitar) and Big C (bass) could well be set to lead the UK metal pack. Well here we are just over a year later and after filming and releasing a DVD that followed the life of the band after ‘Road Dog’ and incorporated a blinding Glasgow headline gig alongside Praying Mantis, album number three careens out of the traps at ‘88MPH’. Along the way there has been a casualty, with the bass of Big C departing the scene, with the less enigmatically named Colin Wilson stepping into the breach. Not that the personnel shuffle seems to have knocked these riff totting, beat smashing, anthem hollering lads out of their stride one little bit.

The album kicks in with one of those “introductions” that so seem to split opinions these days. Personally I don’t mind them, but the overlong, if well constructed ‘From Dusk ‘Till Dawn’ that introduces ‘88MPH’ with a mixture of classical guitar and symphonically inclined strings has so little to do with the barrage of riffs it precedes that it feels precariously tacked on for effect. Impressively that’s the only complaint, as track one proper ‘Beyond Forever’ hits it out of the park with bristling, yet pointed riffs, manically busy drums and a gruff growling vocal that leaves you gasping to keep up, with ‘Flight 180’ excellently maintaining the intensity that has already been constructed. Flashes of Metallica rush past, a reverential nod to Motörhead is brutally placed as a “Glasgow Kiss” and yes through the Stump Monroe like snare crack ‘n’ tom pounds and Ricky Warwick inspired rasps ‘n’ shouts The Almighty are strongly referenced.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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However wisely knowing that by album number three, all the best bands have begun to spread their wings in search of a wider set of influences, ‘Close Shave’ adds a few layers of keyboards and excellent counterpoint vocals from Emma Nailen to the mix, bringing a hint of Faith No More, while the stomping bluesy feel to the verse of ‘Long Ride Home’ is pleasantly reminiscent of the original (and by far the best) version of ‘Fool For Your Loving’ by Whitesnake. However for all that, there’s no denying that Attica Rage operate best at full velocity, guitars blazing, microphones melting, bass lines throbbing and drums begging for mercy as they do on the dirty throb of ‘Aftershow’, or the mighty ‘Killer Carousel’, where Attica fan Marko Duckworth has the honour of adding baseball bat on beer-keg percussion (yes, you read that right).

Not as instantly gratifying as ‘Road Hog’, ‘88MPH’ is an album that deserves to launch Attica Rage into the wider metal conscience, while still satisfying those of us who have been decades loyal to all things denim and leather.

Steven Reid

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