ALMIGHTY – Cat Club, New York
A FEW months back, Stiff Little Fingers’ Jake Burns levelled his white Los Paul at an anticipation- drenched New York crowd and let chords fly quick and bloody. Tonight, the Almighty’s Ricky Warwick, Jake’s biggest fan and brightest bastard offspring, similarly beats the bejesus out of the small crowd gathered stagewards to glimpse the Almighty’s US debut.
He sends ‘em away kicking, screaming and creaming. The Almighty have arrived. All hail the Almighty.
Where Zodiac fell victim to his own one-jokesmanship, Wolfsbane to Blaze Bayley’s blue collar absurdism and Dogs D’Amour to the dreaded same-old, same old syndrome, the Almighty have it in ‘em to pump a new vitality into the languishing ideal of British power rock. They’re everything Skid Row purport to be but ultimately fail to deliver.
With ‘Blood, Fire And Love’ little more than an advance tape to American ears, the iron-fist battering and caged, lupine snarls of ‘Resurrection Mutha’ more than put the Almighty’s burning Stateside question mark firmly to rest; they will succeed here. As drummer Stump Monroe clicked into ‘Destroyed’ the electric buzz in the air was unanimous, with Cat Club lackeys and Industry Suits in complete agreement America could be in for a stomping, a bloody, sneering bout of primal attitude-overdose and ungainly power chording unglimpsed since the day Guns N’ Roses were still swearing they’d recorded “A good Motörhead record”.
‘Blood, Fire And Love’ turns an unshaven cheek. Delivered at twice the volume and three times the intensity, it proved this bunch capable of miles more than merely tossing about Lemmy and Zody’s best attributes. Electric to acoustic, the Almighty move with silken caress and low-key menace. To term it Ricky’s tip of the hat to New Model Army days sells the bleached black braggart’s notion of songmanship criminally short. An implicit understanding of multiple rock generations, from blues to bludgeon, is wonderful and rare at any age. At 23, it’s genius.
Seeing that the British have been importing their rock heroes from the wrong side of the Atlantic for the past few yeas, it’s no wonder America (Soundgarden, Faith No More and a few notable exceptions aside) has become so self-assured and lame.
A little more Almighty would do us al-right!