about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_chromemolly_gunpowderdiplomacy001006.jpg
Sometimes a band name pops up that I haven’t heard for many years and the initial reaction is “wow, are they still about?” That was very much how I felt when I saw this album on my review pile. I think I last heard the name ‘Chrome Molly’ in about 1987 and initially I thought it might be a reissue, best of package or a new band with the same name until I saw the sticker on the CD that reads “The British Metal Institution Is Back!” From what I remember, I’m not sure how much of an institution they were back in the far flung days of my youth, but what I do know is that they were a pretty damn good band and I still get my couple of vinyl albums out every so often to give them a spin. ‘Gunpowder Diplomacy’ is, in actual fact, Chrome Molly’s 5th album but the first to be released in 22 years, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band’s first release. Although they never officially split up, no tours or albums were completed, but they have played together in various projects since the mid 90s. It appears that re-releases of two of the bands albums last year has created enough interest for three of the original members - Steve Hawkins (vocals), John Antcliffe (Guitars) and Nic Wastell (Bass) along with Greg Ellis (Drums since 1990) - to venture back into the studio with producer and Little Angels/Dio Disciples vocalist Toby Jepson to record this album and, arguably, they may very well have released their best one yet.

Do you remember the days of metal and hard rock when it wasn’t complicated and filled with a myriad of subgenres? Do you like it to be uncomplicated but kick some serious butt? Do you like it catchy, gritty, dirty and played with passion and swagger? If the answer to any of these is “yes”, then ‘Gunpowder Diplomacy’ is an album you have to hear. Always originally considered part of the NWOBHM movement, this album sees them keep some of that intact, but also embellish it with a sound akin to Little Angels (perhaps an influence of Toby Jepson producing). I can hear some elements of Demon, Saxon, Nazareth and Blitzkrieg (as you might expect) but also Rose Tattoo and Kiss. The gang vocals on ‘Billion Dollar Heart Attack’ are 80s Gene & Paul personified. ‘Bulletproof’, ‘TV Cops’, ‘Corporation Fear’, ‘Complicated’ & ‘Short Sharp Shock’ are all cracking foot stompers and Chrome Molly don’t sound like they’ve ever been away! Steve Hawkins vocals have aged brilliantly and his voice suits this material perfectly. ‘Gunpowder Diplomacy’ is no-nonsense heavy rock ’n’ roll. It beggars belief that if they’ve had tracks this good hanging about that an album hasn’t been released sooner, but they should be applauded for ‘returning’ with a CD as strong as this. Welcome back Chrome Molly, don’t leave it so long next time!
Review by Rick Tilley
25th Feb 2013
1) Corporation Fear
2) TV Cops
3) Stop Love!
4) Short Sharp Shock
5) Clean Outta Luck
6) Supercharged
7) Complicated
8) All in My Mind
9) Billion Dollar Heart Attack
10) Bulletproof
11) The Runner
"It beggars belief that if they’ve had tracks this good hanging about that an album hasn’t been released sooner..."