BLACKWATER CONSPIRACY – Shootin’ The Breeze (2017)
BLACKWATER CONSPIRACY are from County Tyrone, Norhern Ireland and are made up of former members of the very good act Million$Reload plus Swanee River’s keyboard player. They took a bold step when they announced that Million$Reload were to be no more.
Now, after securing slots at Download and Ramblin’ Man Fair festivals for this summer, the 5-piece are releasing their debut “Shootin’ The Breeze” this June 9.
As Million$Reload, they were definitely more on the heavy side of Rock, but have taken a different direction with Blackwater Conspiracy. The band’s style is some kind of a cross between The Quireboys and The Answer, yet much more raw and rocking.
However you pigeon hole them, the truth of the matter is that the new format works, and their new sound is fantastic.
Trying to pick a favourite track is not an easy job when the whole album is of such a high standard with not a single weak track.
The disc starts with ‘Blackwater Swagger,’ which you could easily mistake for old school Black Crowes (when they used to rock from the guts). There’s tons of swagger, as the title suggests.
This is followed by ‘The Monday Club,’ basically talking about how crappy Monday mornings are after a great weekend. This track just bounds along, and will have you tapping along to the chorus straight away.
‘Waitin’ on Hollywood’ begins with a keyboard intro before some nice guitar riffs hit home, then it launches into the song with Phil Conalane’s amazing gravel-toned voice. Again it has a chorus to easily pick up and sing along to straight away.
‘Penny for Your Dirty Mind’ slows the pace slightly to a semi-ballad tempo, but again it’s not long before the pace lifts towards the chorus that again is so addictive.
‘Decadent Highway’ has a rocking beat that will have those hands drumming away on the steering wheel as you crank up the volume in your car. The pace slows deliberately for the chorus before again taking off like a heat seeking missile.
‘Hanging Tree’ builds up from a melodic quieter start before you’re hit full in the face as the full band kicks in and Phil’s vocals are raised, as is the tempo of this track.
Yet another well formulated song that you won’t want to skip, ‘85 Rockstar’ has that wonderful organ intro that you are used to from old school Classic Rock bands. The song takes a midtempo romp that really has a change of beat that again has you engulfed in the sheer great sound that these guys are making.
Title track ‘Shootin’ the Breeze’ has a slow start, while it builds and builds until the amazing vocal talent of Phil catapults you into the sing along chorus.
‘President Joe’ is one of those Led Zeppelin type seven-minute-plus anthemic songs that you can imagine being played in any arena in the world with the lights dimmed. Before they hit that point where the lights come up and the bar is raised, Phil’s vocals again lift the track to the next level.
Last track on the CD is ‘Roll the Dice.’ Again we are treated to some great keyboard playing that leads us into a cool rockin’ end to a truly great debut album.
Blackwater Conspiracy draws heavily on the British rawk ‘n’ roll tradition.
As said, there is not one song that should be skipped on “Shootin’ The Breeze”. All are organic, dynamic tunes full of classic rock essence. It’s definitely one of those albums that would be pretty close to the top of the playlist for one of those Saturday nights.
01 – Blackwater Swagger
02 – Monday Club
03 – Waitin’ On Hollywood
04 – Penny For Your Dirty Mind
05 – Decadent Highway
06 – Hanging Tree
07 – ’85 Rockstar
08 – Shoot the Breeze
09 – President Joe
10 – Roll the Dice
Phil Conalane – lead vocals, guitar
Brian Mallon – lead guitar, vocals
Kie McMurray – bass, vocals
Kevy Brennan – keyboards, vocals
Fionn O’Hagain – drums
thanks to Will Carter
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