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Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Keep It Greasy

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
Keep It Greasy
by Ben Fitts at 20 April 2017, 4:04 AM

Anyone familiar with the British trio ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL knows exactly what to expect on the band’s third full-length album, “Keep It Greasy”: loosely grooving protometal revival that sounds as if it was transported to the present age from 1972 by a time machine that runs on motoroil, Jack Daniels and mustache hair. “Keep It Greasy” is defined by vintage guitar crunch, bloated, blues based riffs, hoarse vocals and laid back rhythmic feels, and lacks nearly all the spacey, sonic exploration occasionally touched upon in the band’s previous releases.

Sure, “Keep It Greasy” isn’t the most world’s most daring, inventive album, but that was clearly never the band’s intention. ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL recreate the classic sounds of vintage biker rock, the place where blues rock, heavy psychedelia and garage rock all intersected and would eventually mutate into something called metal. And ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL do so rather well.

“Keep It Greasy” opens with the blues rock stomper “U Got What I Need”, a track whose swaggering shuffle is guaranteed to leave your neck sore after only a couple of listens. While most of “Keep It Greasy” is built around grooving shuffle feels, such as the one heard on “U Got What I Need”, ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL manage to avoid as being redundant as one might expect. “Keep It Greasy” is an album built around a few basic ingredients, but over the course of eight tracks, ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL mixes those same ingredients in eight different ways, for eight different results.

“Hair Brain, Pt. 2” has a slow, lackadaisical feel that effectively contrast the driving energy of “U Got What I Need”, and the thick, bass oriented riffs on “Potato Boy” are heavy enough to squash any living being in a five mile radius. “Keep It Greasy” sees itself at its most rock and roll on its third an possible standout track, “Hawkline Monkster”. The most energetic track on the album, “Hawkline Monkster” gurgles with viscous attitude and is supported by rock solid riffing that walk the line between nastiness and infectious catchiness.

But, for all of ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL’S devotion to and contentedness with revisiting a specific moment of music past, it would be nice to see the band branch out a little over the course of the album. By the end of the nearly forty-five minutes of music in “Keep It Greasy”, one heavy shuffle begins to melt into the next. While the nod to Chicago blues in “Paid In Full” stands out when it is first heard, in the end it is still the basic heavy blues riffs and swagger than also compose tracks like “I’m Moving” and “Wrong”. While ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL do what they do very well, can be lots of fun to listen to and find new ways to apply the same musical ideas to make new outcomes, over the course of a full album, the same basic ingredients are bound get a little stale.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. U Got What I Need
2. Hairy Brain, Pt. 2
3. Hawkline Monkster
4. Pain In Full
5. I’m Movin
6. Potato Boy
7. Tired ‘N’ Wired
8. Wrong
Louis Comfort-Wiggett - Bass
Bill Darlington - Drums
Johnny Gorilla - Vocals, Guitar
Record Label: Rise Above Records


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Edited 05 June 2023

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