Manchester’s rock ‘n’ blues crew, Gorilla Riot release their debut record, Peach via Yer Rocka Recordings and distributed by Cargo Records out at the end of January. Sometimes in life, a bit of dirty blues is needed as they open with “Riders I”. This slow guitar riff gets me feeling I’m back at school and watching a dodgy copy of Young Guns 2 and hearing Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory” for the first time. It’s atmospheric chilled chugging sounds that build up to “Riders II” this continued with the slow-burning guitar sounds as we’re introduced to lead vocalist Arjun Bhishma classic rock tone. Over six minutes long the track has a smooth groove of riffs.
The captivating “Still Doing Time” is a highlight for me with the grunge mixed with the bluesy foot-stomping bass of James Degnen works well with Bhishma’s vocals. I felt myself flow away to the sound of the riffs and bobbed my head like a gangster and I am sure I looked the part in London’s rush hour.
Arjun Bhishma sounds influenced by the late great Chris Cornell, the odd touches reminiscent of the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman, especially in “Half Cut” another impressive tune on this 12-track record. Their infectious grooves, grunge vibe and foot-stomping blues moments are a joy to hear at the moment.
Each tune brings out the best of each member as with “Help the Guilty” we hear Will Lewis’ drum beats keep the steady, A Pale Horse Names Death grimacing beat. What I do like about Peach is each song has its own tempo. The seductive “Black Heart Woman” continues the groove of the repetitive touch of menace. Finishing with “Beat Your Bite” and “Chuggin” a couple of tracks embraces the vocal talents of Mr Arjun Bhishma, riffs by cohorts Liam Henry and Charly T are fuelled by classic rock. You can celebrate their work, if you’re in Manchester, head to Rebellion for their album launch show on 8th February 2020.
Gorilla Riot are not what I expect a band from that neck of the woods to sound like. I like what they have done, I like the touches of Cornell, the dark groove but I do feel there is something missing, I am not sure what, but it didn’t explode my senses like I wanted it to and hopefully that will happen with future releases.