South West based 3 piece Grifter have achieved a lot since they formed 10 years ago. Being one of the first bands to be signed to Ripple Music after the label heard only their 2nd EP, their self-titled debut album ‘Grifter’ was released in 2011 to critical acclaim which was picked up by Metal Hammer and Classic Rock who both featured tracks from the band and numerous radio stations around the world played their songs.
Ollie (Vocals/Guitar), Phil (Bass) and Foz (Drums) produced a debut album that is full of heavy riffs that sound downright dirty, with a brilliant sounding production. Balls to the wall rock with touches of stoner, metal and classic rock, and even some blues on the final track ‘Gone Blues’, the album is 11 tracks full of thoughtful, sometimes a touch ironic lyrics that are attention grabbing from the start, and with song titles such as ‘Alabama Hotpocket’, ‘Asshole Parade’, ‘Strip Club’ and ‘Piss And Gas’ this is an album that metaphorically punches you in the face. Monster sounding riffs from the very first song’ Good Day For Bad News’ sets the tone of the entire album, with the powerful vocals perfectly complementing the fuzzy bass and pounding drums. Tracks such as ‘Young Blood, Old Veins’, and ‘Preacher And The Devil’ literally stomp their way through the album. As first albums go, this has to be a certain contender for one of the best debut albums ever heard.
With such a strong debut album, Grifter released their second album ‘The Return Of The Bearded Brethren’ mid-2014. Where the first album was a collection of songs that had been around for a while, the second album was written in mind as quoted by the band ‘to kick arse’ and this album definitely does that. Having found a successful formula, the band don’t dick about by trying to do something wildy different, which far too many bands do hence why there are so many difficult second albums. Its unashamed rock, loud, with heavy killer riffs, as soon as the opening track ‘Black Gold’ starts it is pretty damn exciting to hear and from the very outset the 10 tracks on the album have kicked arse as intended.
The vocals are even more outstanding than the debut album and having used the same producer Rich Robinson for the album once again, that dirty vibe is prevalent throughout. None of the lyrics have lost their edge and with songs such as ‘Paranoiac Blues’, ‘Bow Down To The Monkey’ and ‘It’s Not Me It’s You’ it’s as hard-hitting as the first album. The single ‘Princess Leia’ is full of massive riffs with a thunderous bass line as the drums roll through the track. ‘Fire And Water’ and title track ‘Return Of The Bearded Brethren’ continue the riff-fuelled songs and with a cover of the Black Sabbath song ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ that is done in epic Grifter style, if you thought the first album was brilliant, then the second album takes it to an even more awesome level of heaviness and excellence.
Alongside two excellent albums Grifter have also been very much a live band, with repeat performances at Hard Rock Hell, the headline act for the inaugural Desertfest and an appearance at Bloodstock, as well as tour with Orange Goblin and other notable gigs. The band have already announced a London gig at The Black Heart on the 20th February, South Sea Live in Sheffield on the 21st February and with other gigs being planned and the possibility of additional dates in Europe, 2015 should see more of Grifter out on the road.
With two epic sounding albums, Grifter are definitely one of those bands you shouldn’t be without.
The website for Grifter is http://www.grifterrock.co.uk. They are on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/GRIFTERROCK and Twitter @grifter_rock. Their bandcamp page is http://grifterrock.bandcamp.com/ and their tunes can be found on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.