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GBH – ‘Momentum’ Album Review

GBH – Momentum

GBHHot off the press (well, there have been a few teaser singles released), punk rock legends, GBH have released their latest album, Momentum today on Hellcat Records. “We’re always looking forward,” says Colin Abrahall (vocals), “next gig, next tour, next album. For us, it is all about momentum. At this point, if we stopped moving forward we’d just fall over”.

Momentum was recorded at Muther’s Studio in GBH’s hometown of Birmingham, England and opens with an ode about their hometown, Birmingham Smiles. From the muscular guitar chords to the tight as hell drums and base, Colin’s signature gravelly vocals take charge and the song motors along at a pace with the excellent line “…everyone’s got a hometown but not everyone has home.”

Next up is the Stiff Little Fingers like Tripwire Strange replete with some guttural backing vocals and a rolling riff that is the cherry on top of the cake of a massive punk rock track…loved it!

On No News the boys up the pace with some D-beat drumming and chunky riffs driving the track along. The four-minute plus Population Bomb enters with a stuttering guitar before a soaring riff joins in. The track develops into a bass driven track with some neat progressive chord work and the whole package feels more complex and clever than your run of the mill punk song. If you have not seen GBH recently, I highly advise you catch them on their next tour – they hit the road regularly and this album will show up well on the stage. Enemies is a mosh-pit pleaser full of pace and power whilst Us Against The World rocks and rolls with intent to cause some serious head banging!

The title track, Momentum is packed with hooks and 100mph punk rock with some monster riff work…wow! GBH have stayed true to their punk rock roots with this new album but still sound a fresh as ever. The Perfect Storm is full of menace, hard edges yet accessible as a punk rock pogo inducing package. On Fifty What? The band take on the subject of age (and speak directly to this reviewer) with a Cramps style lick and lyrics that challenge the theory that punk is for the young…fantastic song in the spirit of Chumbawamba’s Fade Away.

The raw power and pace of I Never Asked For Any Of This combines the classic GBH sound with a harder edge. The penultimate song, Blue Sky Thinking, explodes after a guitar led intro and will, like many of the tracks on the album fuel a frenzied mosh pit. The album concludes with the five-minute plus Liquid Paradise (The Epic) with a speeded up reggae introduction that slows down before a dirty riff, extended feedback and Motorhead drumming get things moving. The length of the song and the nod to heavy drinking through the lyrics allow the track to breath and build and, well, take on “epic” punk rock qualities.

GBH formed in 1978 and have released 11 albums with some of the early releases making onto most “Best Of” lists for purveyors of punk rock. This 12-track album is right up there with the best of them.

Check out Momentum by GBH here: http://hell-cat.com/