Saturday 21 May 2016

GORILLA vs GRIFTER (Split Album Review)

Release date: April 15th 2016. Label: HeviSike Music. Format: DD/Vinyl

Gorilla vs Grifter – Tracklisting

1.Gorilla - Both Barrells 03:13
2.Gorilla - Slay Rider 05:12
3.Gorilla - Grind Yer Down 03:43
4.Gorilla - Three Squeeler 03:27
5.Grifter - Failing Asleep 04:00
6.Grifter - Hi Waisted 03:48
7.Grifter - Paige Turner 04:13
8.Grifter - Me Love 04:28

GORILLA - Band Members:

Johnny Gorilla - Guitar and Vocals
Sarah Jane - Bass.
Ryan Matthews - Drums.

GRIFTER – Band Members:

Ollie - Vocals/Guitar
Phil - Bass
Foz - Drums


Here's a new split release from HeviSike Records. Their 2nd split release of bands joining forces. The first one being Mos Generator vs Stubb. Now we have GORILLA vs GRIFTER.

Two well respected bands from the UK Hard Rock/Metal scene. Gorilla is lead by Johnny Gorilla who is also part of lovable rogues – Sir Admiral Cloudesley Shovell. Grifter are one of the most hard-working Rock/Blues/Stoner Rock bands the UK has to offer. They've released some great albums on Ripple Music lately.

Both bands have teamed up for 32 minutes of old-school style hard rock/metal. And it's a rebellious wild ride from start to finish. First we have GORILLA who show their love for all things LEMMY and MOTORHEAD with blistering speed metal/thrash style rock. Opening track Both Barrells may owe a few nods to Ace Of Spades And Bomber but GORILLA have a great charm of their own.

Second track – Slay Rider – is a proper booze fuelled dirty rock number with fast riffs and dirty vocals to match. This a band all about having fun with your pals on a Friday night. Bottle of beer in one hand, the other hand clenched in Devil's Horns whilst your rocking out like there's not tomorrow.

The final two songs from GORILLA carry on the same bombastic style of Rock/Metal as the opening two tracks but I must admit Grind Yer Down is stand-out track from GORILLA as they unleash a high amount of devilish fun. The band create some exciting riffs with punk-based vocals to match.

That's GORILLA's play-time over. Now time for GRIFTER.

I have a lot of love and respect for Grifter. I'm a huge fan of their albums they've released on Ripple Music. They're a widely respected band and they've done it on their own terms without flashy gimmicks or ideas. They're one of the unsung heroes of the UK Hard Rock scene and it's always great to hear some new riffs by these dedicated veterans.

Their side of the split is just as good as GORILLA's. Their music is more blusier compared to GORILLA's style of rock/metal but is just as exciting.

Opening track – Falling Sleep – is a fast-paced number with the band showing they've haven't lost their touch. Cool riffs and whiskey soaked vocals give way to a rawer sound that I wasn't expecting from these guys. The production is very rough compared to previous Grifter releases but it works in their favour.

If you're already a fan of Grifter then you know what to expect here. Good old fashioned classic hard-rock riffs with tales of rebelling against the system and having fun. You get that vibe on second track – Paige Turner – which is perhaps the strongest song Grifter have provided here.

Third track – Hi Wasted – sees Grifter return to their blues-rock roots with some superb bluesy moments being the main driving force of the song. It's a cool song but I wanted a few heavier riffs to appear as it promises a few heavier moments but sadly doesn't deliver.

Fourth track – Me Love – is a 70s classic rock sounding number with the band closing their side of the split with another well-written song. You can tell the band are having fun here as this song is catchy and fun as hell.

GORILLA vs GRIFTER is a superb record from two great bands showing the world they're still worth giving a damn about. It doesn't offer anything new or exciting that you haven't heard before though what it does offer is an exciting ride from two well-respected bands who I hope are around for a very long time to come.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Grifter and LostKey PR for the promo. GORILLA vs GRIFTER is available to buy now on Vinyl from HeviSike Records.


Grifter Links: