Anyone that knows me knows that I love me some Thin Lizzy. I’m such a huge fan that last year I was seeing this woman and when she said that Lizzy was overrated I knew that it was doomed between us. I still slept with her a couple more times, but no relationship.
You have to have standards.
So you have to realize that when Thin Lizzy reformed, again, a couple years ago I was skeptical. I grew even more so when they announced they were going to record new music. Let’s be honest, no Phil Lynott no new Lizzy music. While this new incarnation had longtime members Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, and Darren Wharton, the last two did not want to be part of this new act. The band has Ricky Warwick, who while his band The Almighty might have done well in the U.K, I never liked them at all nor his voice. I did appreciate that they replaced Vivian Campbell with Damon Johnson, I always thought that Brother Cane was a good band plus he wrote with some other acts as well.
Thankfully they decided to rename themselves Black Star Riders and their first effort is All Hell Breaks Loose. Even with the name change I was still skeptical about it until I heard “Bound For Glory”. It was a very Lizzy-ish song and Warwick’s voice seems to honor Lynott while still retaining some originality. Then I heard the rest of the album.
All Hell Breaks Loose opens with the title track and while it is alright, Warwick has this very annoying tendency to exhale at the end of every line. Let’s just say that it is very, very, very, very annoying. I mean really annoying. After that it’s just a lot of very average hard rock. Half the time the band sounds like a beefed up Smithereens. ie. “Bloodshot”. “Kissing The Ground” comes across as a very generic rock song. It was then I realized that Warwick also seems to ape Gary Moore’s voice a lot. Listen to “Hey Judas” or “Hoodoo Voodoo” and you get the feeling that the band seems to draw more from Moore’s music than Lizzy’s. I guess it’s no surprise that the best track is “Blues Ain’t So Bad”.
This band was like a roller coaster for me. Loved Lizzy, hated who was in it, loved they changed name, hated actually hearing it. It’s weird that even with the name change they still have the specter of Lizzy hovering over it. The band didn’t ignore it or pander to it, they seemed to try and do both. And in doing so failed themselves.
Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale
$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop
$0-Not worth the drive space