Blackwater Conspiracy are from County Tyrone, Norhern Ireland and are made up of former members of Million$Reload and a new keyboard player. They took a bold step when they announced that Million$Reload were to be no more. During their last show, rather than end it then have a break before returning, they actually changed their name mid show and started playing the new songs straight away.
As Million$Reload they were definitely more on the heavy side of Rock, but have taken a different direction under Blackwater Conspiracy. You could now class them as a Southern Rock or even Blues Rock band. However you pigeon hole them, the truth of the matter is that the new format works, and their new sound is fantastic.
Blackwater Conspiracy are Phil Conalane (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Brain Mallon (Lead Guitar), Kie McMurray (Bass), Fionn O’Hagain (Drums) and Kevin Brennan (Keys/Organ).
Their debut album titled Shootin’ the Breeze is released on CD and digital download on June 9th 2017, with the vinyl option being released on July 7th 2017 as a double album. The CD has 10 tracks that are a great mix, and it really does have you captured from track one. The vinyl release will also have four bonus tracks not available on the CD version.
We start with a track called ‘Blackwater Swagger,’ which you could easily mistake for old school Black Crowes. It has that real Southern vibe and 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’ starts with the keyboard intro masterfully played by Kevin before Brian’s guitar riffs hit home, then it launches into the song with Phil’s amazing gravel-toned voice. Again it has a chorus to easily pick up and sing along to straight away. You can’t help yourself.
‘Penny for Your Dirty Mind’ slows the pace slightly to more of a ballad tempo, but again it’s not long before the pace lifts towards the chorus that again is so addictive.
‘Decadent Highway.’ Its rocking beat 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, with just guitar and Phil’s vocals, 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 of the ‘70s. The song takes a mid tempo 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 Pink Floyd/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 awesome keyboard playing that leads us into a cool rockin’ end to a truly great debut album.
There is not one song that should be skipped, and the four bonus tracks on the vinyl version are worth the purchase alone. This is one of the best debut albums in a long time, one you should definitely have in your collection.
Reviewed By Will Carter
- ‘Blackwater Swagger’
- ‘The Monday Club’
- ‘Waitin’ for Hollywood’
- ‘Penny for Your Dirty Mind’
- ‘Decadent Highway’
- ‘Hanging Tree’
- ‘85 Rockstar’
- ‘Shoot the Breeze’
- ‘President Joe’
- ‘Roll the Dice’
Vinyl Bonus Tracks
- ‘Under Your Skin’
- ‘Anything Goes’
- ‘Ain’t No Fool Like a Fool Doing Time’
Blackwater Conspiracy play Download Festival on June 9th and Ramblin Man Fair in July. Go check their website for further tour details and band information.