Having followed the mutation of Gold Blade from the gold lame suited “Hometurf” through the sing-along-punk n roll follow ups it’s finally come to this. These guys are seriously pissed off. The heavy overdriven bass of the opener “This Is War!” lets you know you’re in for more than you bargained for. This is no easy listening album, nor is it a recording for the sake of a band having something to promote at their shows. This definitely is war.
There’s also a few political digs in there with “We’re All In This Together” and “Sick/Tired” having a pop at the current state of good old Blighty but it’s all done in John Robb’s clever lyrical style rather than coming across as all party political broadcast. “They Kiss Like Humans Act Like Machines” is probably the track you could liken to the recent offerings but even so, it feels like they’ve taken a track from 2008’s “Mutiny” and kicked seven shades of shit out of it. “Someone Stole My Brain” is a darker grungy metal affair which works in the overall context of the album. Don’t ask me why – it just does ok? It sets the sights nicely for “My Life Is Like An Atom Bomb” to make a clean headshot with its balls to the wall punk rock hooligan blues and for me the stand out track on here but it’s had to go some to get that honour.
Don’t get me wrong there’s still the trademark get-the-crowd involved sing-alongs like “Psycho Takes a Holiday” and “Hey You Elastic Face” but there’s more than one surprise along the way to make you sit up and take notice and much as I love the previous albums it’s been a while since I’ve been as surprised as this by a Gold Blade album. Being one of the very few bands I have managed to follow since their debut I normally judge any new release by what would make it onto the Gold Blade mixtape and from the reggae infused “Serious Business” to the 8 minute behemoth of the title track you could probably make a case for any of the 13 tracks to warrant a place on there. The Blade has been sharpened and they’ve cut themselves of punk rock perfection. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s a belter. (9/10)