CHRIS HOLMES (ex W.A.S.P.) – Shitting Bricks (2015)
Seems to be a W.A.S.P. related day here, as we are taking a view to CHRIS HOLMES (ex W.A.S.P.) new album “Shitting Bricks“. From its title you can see Holmes still has a great sense of humor, but I assure you the man also can play as in his finest days.
When Chris Holmes released his first solo album in late 2012 he split opinions. On one side there were the people who’ve never been able to move past a few minutes of film footage from the Eighties showing Holmes’ excesses, unable to comprehend that Chris did actually get out of that pool, dry off, sober up and get on with his life. It may have taken him a few years to do it with a few bumps along the way, but do it he did.
On the other side there were the people who actually had fully functioning ears and a modicum of intelligence. People who were able to understand that five minutes of infamous movie fame does not accurately convey an entire life story.
These people could see and indeed hear that solo album Chris had turned a corner on his post-W.A.S.P. road and was finally managing to power his way out of a wilderness in which he’d been seemingly lost for far too long.
That first album rocked like a homemade go-cart ride. It was rough, it was raw, it felt like the wheels might fall off at any time, but it was certainly a whole lotta fun.
Now that it’s here it’s strikingly evident from the off that ‘Shitting Bricks’ has no intention of just following on meekly from ‘Nothing To Lose’, it’s hellbent on exceeding it on every level.
The title track itself just crashes out of your speakers like a marauding motorist with no mercy shown to anything in its way. It’s a tune littered with scorching solos and police sirens and it sets the bar high, but it’s a bar that keeps on getting smashed.
‘Get With It’ is another belter and digs up some real dirty gems from the Chris Holmes riff mine. A mighty earth-moving groove ploughs its way straight through the heart of the tune as Chris’ unashamed growling snarl spits out every line with feeling.
This is what Heavy Metal is supposed to sound like. Full force guitars blowing like a hurricane with thundering drums and a mean rumbling bass completing the storm winds that surround the hard edged gritty vocals. Combined it all hits you as hard as golf ball-sized hail stones.
Along similar lines we have the lethal fuck you belch of ‘Let It Roar’, a track that keeps all systems cranking on eleven. Loaded with more searing guitar work and volume praising lyrics, the song captures the true essence of the Chris Holmes spirit, the whole thing is packed tight with a tongue in cheek attitude and fired off defiantly at any noise sensitive neighbors.
But this isn’t a one dimensional album by any means. ‘Long Gone’ stands as a six and a half minute instrumental of multi layered magic while ‘Born Work Die’ sits back and rocks the porch swing vibe like a bad boy in a wifebeater. The bones of the latter dating back to Chris’ days with Psycho Squad in the early nineties. For me this is the best tune on the album, I love it and I can’t get enough of it.
People knock Holmes for taking the vocals on himself but his gutsy street style fits the music perfectly. I couldn’t imagine some hired gun frontman executing the filth of ‘In Your Mouth’ or the fury of ‘502’ with the same gusto as Holmes, his tones are spot on for the styles of the songs and the overall sound of the album.
The near eight minute epic adventure of ‘Vegas Nightmare’ is the last brick in the wall and calls time on a collection of tracks all fused with the same ego free production style that so endeared the previous album to me. It all makes for a thoroughly satisfying breath of fresh air in this oft sanitised world of overproduced lifeless music.
“Shitting Bricks” is raw, it’s heavy, the vocals work like chainsaw and there’s an overall sense of dirty all over, but precisely there’s where resides its charm.
01 – Intro
02 – Shitting Bricks
03 – Nevermind
04 – Get With It
05 – Born Work Die
06 – Let It Roar
07 – TFMF
08 – Long Gone
09 – In Your Mouth
10 – 502
11 – Don’t Care
12 – Vegas Nightmare
BUY IT !