"Check 'em Before You Wreck 'Em"

By Dr. Abner Mality

If there's any band out there that can grab you by the throat and make you BELIEVE it is 1973 again, it is the good Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. So many phony retro rock band have tried to pull the wool over our eyes with false impressions of what heavy blues rock is....these dudes don't have to "try". Somehow, they conjure up the sweaty, boozed up analog ruckus of the birth era of metal effortlessly. And in so doing, they make you even forget what age you're in yourself.

Damn, these blokes do it again! Their last effort "Don't Hear It...Fear It!" won praises from Earthdog himself here at Wormwood. "Check 'em Before You Wreck 'em" continues down that same raw, bluesy path, only it may even be heavier and more authentic than before. The sound the Admiral conjures is just so REAL! And I don't think you can call this doom metal or stoner rock by a long shot. It's just got way too much energy for either of those descriptions. Tunes like "Do It Now", "Happiness Begins", "Don't Hear It...Fear It" and "The Thicker The Better" really rage with all the bad-ass power of turbo-fueled rock. I don't hear much Sabbath or Purple at all in Admiral Shovell's sound. Rather, they draw a lot of inspiration from Budgie or Sir Lord Baltimore at their ballsiest or even the very earliest Motorhead.

You also get some extremely rough and juicy blues like the slow burning "Captain Merryweather", which builds to a huge climax, and the album ender "Late Night Mornings", where a bit of psychedelia creeps into the mix. The vocals sound totally, 100% early 70's British blues...God Save the Queen! And the drumming is as real and analog as you could ever imagine. Yeah, yeah, the blues are strong here, but this shit is heavy, too...listen to "2 Tonne Fuckboot" and tell me that doesn't sound just like the title implies!

This whole damn bird-headed, rubber-burning record is indispensable for people who want to experience metal and hard rock as it sounded at the dawn of time. This Admiral should be in command of a whole friggin' fleet!