RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct
Nuclear Blast

Rating: A+

USA Release Date: 02/24/15
Order the album here: http://media.nuclearblast.de/shoplanding/2015/BSR/the-killer-instinct.html

Black Star Riders is a band on a mission—literally.  They could have simply kept calling themselves Thin Lizzy and kept booking the casino circuit, touting the inclusion of guitarist Scott Gorham as ‘the member in the band that matters.’  Scott was the American onboard for Lizzy’s biggest commercial successes, after all.  He was a huge part of “The Boys are Back in Town” era of the classic band, led by the iconic Phil Lynott. 

Truth be told, if there was ever a band that really can’t survive the death of a member, it was Thin Lizzy.  Sure, they could go on as a tribute to Lizzy, and they were for several years, but the thought of writing new music under the “Lizzy” moniker wasn’t going to happen. 

Gorham, feeling creative and wanting to write, did something that no musician from the classic era seems to do… he sacrificed a fer-sure paycheck by NOT calling the band Thin Lizzy, and he created new music in a similar style with a new band.  It worked well with their debut All Hell Breaks Loose, Classic Rock Revisited even naming it The Album of the Year upon its release. 

BSR will soon release their sophomore effort, titled The Killer Instinct.  There is a lot of pressure on the band, and that the killer instinct comes through the music, loud and clear.  Luckily, vocalist Rickey Warwick and guitarist Gorham are seasoned vets who can handle pressure. 

Classic Rock Revisited is happy to report that Black Star Riders have done it again!  The Killer Instinct will likely be the best rock album released in 2015.  Warwick walks the true tightrope between sounding like Lynott and sounding like himself.  It’s not an imitation, but man if it were… Gorham does not try to be anyone other than himself. 

The title track is straight out of the Lizzy cannon.  And the twin guitar leads in “Turn in Your Arms” are, simply put, totally freaking cool!  The song “Finest Hour” has to see Phil smiling down from rock and roll heaven, leaning over to Hendrix and Bonham stating, “Dude, look what they’ve done now! This is awesome!”  I bet he even picks up his celestial bass and plays and sings along with the track! 

Now remember, this music may be Thin Lizzy in spirit, but they are Black Star Riders in reality; a new band.  The music holds similar styles but, come on, in this case that is not just a good thing... it’s a great thing.  It is not so much a band trying to sound like another band as it is the sharing of DNA mixed with a desire to further their mission to keep the music alive and well, all the while creating something new. 

There are going to be comparisons to Thin Lizzy and to Phil Lynott but, rest assured, this is a new band called Black Star Riders.  “You Little Liar” is a perfect example of the band standing on their own laurels and delivering the goods.  “Through the Motions” and “Sex, Guns and Gasoline” show a band on fire, refusing to believe the current cry of “Rock is dead!”

So, it is with great excitement that Classic Rock Revisited announces the release of this album. 

Scott Gorham and company have proven without a shadow of a doubt that classic styled hard rock can still be fresh, fun and full of fury (that’s a lot of ‘F’s”).  This one is a must-own for all over-40s rock and roll maniacs, and a great album to turn the younger generation on to. 

The band lineup now consists of Ricky Warwick – vocals, guitar, Scott Gorham – lead guitar, Damon Johnson – lead guitar, Robbie Crane – bass guitar and Jimmy DeGrasso – drums.  Together they are putting out the most legitimate rock album since… well, since their debut!

Buy this one and crank it up.

If these songs don’t incite the killer instinct within, then... you need to see the doctor, as you’re in need of some testosterone!

No one is supposed to be making music this good in 2015… but thank God they are!



Ricky Warwick – vocals, guitar
Scott Gorham – lead guitar
Damon Johnson – lead guitar
Robbie Crane – bass guitar
Jimmy DeGrasso – drums

01. Killer Instinct
02. Bullet Blues
03. Finest Hour
04. Soldierstown
05. Charlie I Gotta Go
06. Blindsided
07. Through the Motions
08. Sex, Guns and Gasoline
09. Turn In Your Arms
10. You Little Liar

Order the album here: http://media.nuclearblast.de/shoplanding/2015/BSR/the-killer-instinct.html

By Jeb Wright