Blackbird Angels – ‘Solsorte’

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Heavy Rock

Frontiers Music srl

Release Date – September 8th 2023

Review by Smudge

Blackbird Angels are based around the friendship of LA Guns guitarist Tracii Guns and Slash bassist Todd Kerns. Apparently, they have wanted to make music together for some years but never got the chance until the pandemic. They enlisted multi-instrumentalist and former LA Guns alumni Adam Hamilton to play drums on what they describe as music heavily influenced by their 70’s heroes – Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Journey. That’s a great assessment but I hear other influences in there too.

We go straight back to the 70’s on opener ‘Shut Up (You Know I Love You)’ which has a huge riff that comes out of the Ted Nugent book of riffs and powerful vocals along with a fine bluesy solo before the Led Zeppelin hooks of ‘Mine (All Mine)’. The acoustic comes out on ‘Worth The Wait’ before it kicks into a blues roller then we get some funky Aerosmith sleaze on ‘Coming In Hot’. ‘On And Over And Over’ is a bluesy psyche power ballad with shimmering guitar lines before the punk jagged ‘Only Everything’. It’s back to the Zep/Nugent riffery on ‘Broken In Two’ where singer/ bassman Todd Kerns does his best RnB Glenn Hughes thing. ‘Better Than This’ has more than a touch of late 70’s Journey before the modern alt sounding ‘Unbroken’ gets us to ‘The Last Song’ which is another shimmering ballad and isn’t actually the last song, that’s the big bad rocker ‘Scream Bloody Murder’.

If I’m honest I’ve never been a fan of LA Guns mainly because I don’t like Phil Lewis strained whine but this, I enjoyed immensely and I have a newfound respect for Tracii Guns guitar playing which is superb on this. Todd Kerns also puts in a great shift on vocals, they have some really catchy melodies, and he has some range too. I’m old enough to remember the 70’s and this would sit comfortably with anything released back then but it does have a modern edge on the production which has a real live feel. If you want some down to earth ballsy rock n roll then you can’t go wrong with this. Looks like this will be a live affair too seeing as they’ve announced that Johnny Martin will be on bass and Sam Bam Koltun will be on guitar for some shows. Look forward to that because these songs need to be played live.

Track List –

1 – Shut Up (You Know I Love You)

2 – Mine (All Mine)

3 – Worth The Wait

4 – Coming In Hot

5 – On And On Over And Over

6 – Only Everything

7 – Broken In Two

8 – Better Than This

9 – Unbroken

10 – The Last Song

11 – Scream Bloody Murder

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