Black Star Riders // Wrong Side Of Paradise // Album Review
Wrong Side Of Paradise just screams rock-n-roll and it’s no surprise when Ricky Warwick is at the helm, Mr Rock-n-Roll if ever there was, from The Almighty to Black Star Riders and everything in between it just oozes from his pores, and this is no exception. With the obvious link to Lizzy, there will always be comparisons, which is to be expected, this time round though they have pushed the boat out a little more, giving you a broader heavy rock album with just a hint of previous ventures. Rather than alienating the fan base entirely two of the first three tracks have a serious Lizzy vibe in the shape of the opener and title track “Wrong Side Of Paradise” and “Better Than Saturday NIght”, Warwick channels his inner Phil to full effect with kicking drum beats and crisps guitars its Lizzy with a modern kick, the solos on both tracks are what you would expect, killer, but there is a serious groove there that just get you moving and stomping your feet.
Sandwiched in between those two is a cool groover “Hustle”, a bass and drum-heavy track that is so smooth it’s unreal, a little harmonica and a lot of great guitar work make this a real standout. “Riding Out The Storm” is a little slower than the previous few tracks but that takes nothing away from a classic song, a rolling drum beat paired with a mix of acoustic and electric guitars and some cracking harmonies backing up Warwick’s amazing vocals, a stunning track. “Pay Dirt” is a banger that hits you right in the face with its full-on assault, blasting drums, thundering bass, savage riffs and an equally savage solo as Warwick does as only he can, belting out vocals like nobody’s business, one of the best tracks on the album. “Catch Yourself On” has a grittier feel to it, heavier riffs and a thumping bass line drive the track, Warwick switches to a gruffer vocal style and it really suits the song, this is a real gem of a track. The cover of The Osmond’s “Crazy Horse” is a nice change of pace and considering the original, it fits quite well here.
“Burning Rome” is a brilliant track, it’s a tad slower than the rest but it rocks big time, a seriously infectious beat with a catchy-as-hell chorus, this is everything that is good about Warwick and all he does, a contender for track of the album. “Don’t Let The World(Get In The Way)” picks up the pace again with a kicking groover that needs to be played at 10 for the full effect, thumping drums and bass with funky riffs and a tasty solo, another cracker. “Green And Troubled Land” bursts into life with a cool riff before Warwick comes in on vocals that have a slight Philo vibe, crisp guitars and a great drum beat drive to the song big time, this is a real rocker and the Celtic stylings of the riffs just add a little extra to it. The album closes with “This Life Will Be The Death Of Me”; a less rock and more blues track with a funky rhythm that will have you tapping your toe, a blistering solo at the back end of the song lights it up as the track comes to a close.
This is possibly one of the best albums Black Star Riders have done to date, there is a feel of the shackles are off as it is the first album done without Scott Gorham and while sticking to their roots they are taking it to the next level, simply put this is incredible.
The band’s UK tour in February 2023, a special 10th-anniversary run of dates, as well as their headline sets at Planet Rockstock and Earache Records’ 35 Years Of Noise party, see the band welcome back guitarist Scott Gorham and original drummer Jimmy DeGrasso for the celebrations.
UK Tour Dates:
Saturday 11th February Belfast, Limelight
Monday 13th February Nottingham, Rock City
Wednesday 15th February Norwich, UEA
Thursday 16th February Ipswich, Corn Exchange
Friday 17th February Manchester, O2 Ritz
Saturday 18th February Wolverhampton, KK’s Steel Mill
Sunday 19th February Leeds, O2 Academy
Tuesday 21st February Cardiff, Tramshed
Wednesday 22nd February Bristol, O2 Academy
Thursday 23rd February Glasgow, SWG3
Friday 24th February Newcastle, O2 City Hall
Sunday 26th February London, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Tickets are on sale now from https://myticket.co.uk
Special Guests Michael Monroe and Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons on all shows except Belfast where Trucker Diablo open.