I suppose it had to happen. It has been a long search but finally a Glasgow rock band with some imagination has stepped up and been counted. Stepped up, been counted and made themselves ready to be a global contender at that. As I’m found of a metaphor or two I’ll just say that A Joker’s Rage’s self titled album packs quite a punch.
Having caught them live last year, I had been expecting a sort of high speed run along the road popularised by Rage Against the Machine and there is still an element of that directional decision to be found here but there is now so much more to enjoy and respect for that matter. Hell, you even get a bit of Police style faux reggae thrown in (“Chase”) amongst the hard as nails street rock styling of “Neighbourhood Watch” (“…gotta get the hell out of Springburn”) and the pummelling stadium rock of “Elegant War”.
Of course, such things don’t just happen. You can’t just stick a compass on to a band and hope they all go in the right direction as it’s all in the quality of the ingredients. The songs here are as big as they should be for an aspiring rock band and the performances likewise combine pomp, power and precision. Zakk Taylor holds centre stage like he was born for it and the fiery fingers of Gary Johnstone once again mark him as one of the most adventurous and talented guitarists in this genre. Needless to say, you will feel an overwhelming urge to turn the volume right up.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some air guitar to play.