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Gilby Clarke – The Gospel Truth

Gilby Clarke
The Gospel Truth
by Neil Cook at 19 June 2021, 7:51 PM

The CV of Mr GILBY CLARKE is indeed an impressive document.  From being Izzy’s “replacement” in G’n’R for the “Use Your Illusion” tour.  The also played alongside Slash again in his SNAKEPIT.  Plus, HEART, MC5 and even NANCY SINATRA are on his list. Also involved with the reality TV project Rockstar: Supernova with a bunch of other Rock n Rollers in their quest for a singer.  But What Mr GILBY does best is guitar slinger.

His latest solo album “The Gospel Truth” doesn’t stray too far away from the 80/90s template his CV hints at.  There is loads of sleezy riffage, the odd bit of bar room piano and horns, over pumping bass and drums laid down by some big name tub thumpers, and they produce a tight sound.  But the two issues are 1) it doesn’t stray away from the formular very much and 2) The album could have benefited by having a different singer attached, ‘cos I’m afraid GILBY’s singing is OK, but a decent set of pipes would have set the album on fire. That the title track “The Gospel Truth” is a strong opener, and the strongest vocals too.  It actually benefits from the kitchen-sink treatment, everything was thrown at this track, dirty riffs, nasty solos, bass to die for, hors, keys, backing vocals, but all working in harmony.

Wayfarer” has a cool groove, with some funky basslines and organ giving it its Sol Cal vibe, and it goes without saying the soloing is damn good.  “Tightwad” to me has a touch of the COOP getting sleezy about it, especially the vocals. Guest vocals from ALICE would have blown this song out of the water!

Rock N’ Roll Is Getting Louder” could have been any number of Sunset Strip bands.  Woah woah’s a cow-bells and RnR riffs could be nothing else.  “Wise Old Timer” tells the story of a war vet and the crappy life they have, which is worthy, but the song struggles to get going and just chugs along, and is a bit meh.

Violation” has a STONESY, punky vibe, something JONNY THUNDERS might have played on for example. The song is cool, but with a properly sneering ‘tude laden Punk vocal it would have been a stone-cold classic.  The same with “The Ending”, musically it’s a beat with a bassline that give you those feelings in the downstairs, but the vocals are a passion killer!

And the rest pretty much plow that same furrow. “Dangerous Sin” isn’t either sinful or dangerous enough. “Rusted N’ Busted” needed to be grungier. “She Won’t Fight Fair” lacked attitude (except the solo!).

This album could have been dangerous, edgy and interesting, a hit with some simple tweaks, mainly in the vocal department.  So, from me it gets a very good.  It could and should be an excellent.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Gospel Truth
2. Wayferer
3. Tightwad
4. RockN‘ Roll Is Getting Louder
5. Wise Old Timer
6. Violation
7. The Ending
8. Dangerous Sin
9. Rusted N‘ Busted
10. She Wont Fight Fair
Gilby Clarke - Guitar & Lead Vocals
Matt Starr - Drums
Sean McNabb - Bass
Teddy Zig Zag - Organ
Roberta Freeman - Vocals
Cleto Escobedo - Horns
Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction, Porno For Pyros), Drums
Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp), Drums
Nikki Sixx, Bass
Record Label: Golden Robot Records


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Edited 23 March 2023

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