Tastes Like Rock Magazine

Grifter - The Return Of The Bearded Brethren


Ripple Music/Catacomb Records/Fury 76 Records

Posted 10/15/14 - 1:34 AM ET

Tastes Like Rock - Grifter - The Return of The Bearded Brethren Review
Tastes Like Rock - Grifter - The Return of The Bearded Brethren Review

The Return Of The Bearded Brethren is an ten song love letter to the best parts of 70's rock! Big sound that rides the line between rock and metal, a whiskey soaked flair that only the best Southern Rock has... well, had before Southern Rock became Hard Country; which is definitely not the case on this album. Grifter, a three piece outfit from Britain has nailed a sound that, as stated, calls forth all the best 70's hard rock brought to the world; but they are far from a tribute band. You're not finding a Skynyrd clone here. The British trio resurrects all that is great about 70's rock, but don't rip it off. Their instrumentation as a group is solid, it's guitar driven, but doesn't smother the bass or the drums; the trio is a bonafide unit, without any lead singer/guitarist syndrome bleeding into the compositions and performance. Whiskey soaked grit fills all aspects of each song, vocals and instruments, and that is good! So many that try for this type of sound end up sounding like an old crank style record player turned too fast on a warped piece of vinyl; there is none, repeat, none of that here. Vocals are gritty, not metal gritty, hard driving rock gritty; think a mix of Michael Poulsen from Volbeat and Brian Johnson from AC/DC, but closer to Poulsen's timbre.

Pacing is pretty standard for a hard rock album bordering on metal. Fast and hard but not overstepping into metalcore, the guys in Grifter found a a sweet spot between modern hard rock (when it was good before the dub step cross over started infecting pretty much every album over the last two, almost three years now) and classic balls to the wall 70's rock and its transition to early hard rock. Makes this writer want to sit in an old dive bar down south where I partially grew up and slug back a cold one while Grifter tears up the stage.

Track List:

  1. Black Gold
  2. She Mountain
  3. Paranoic Blues
  4. Princess Leia
  5. Bow Down to The Monkey
  6. Braggards Boast
  7. It's Not You It's Me
  8. Fire Water
  9. Return Of The Bearded Brethren
  10. Fairies Wear Boots

Choice cuts are "Black Gold", "Princess Leia", and "Braggard's Boast".

Grifter gets a solid 4 out of 5 for The Return Of The Bearded Brethren.

Grifter is Ollie (vocals and guitar), Phil (bass), Foz (drums). For more from Grifter check out www.grifterrock.co.uk and www.reverbnation.com/grifterrock.

- Michael Meade