Band: Line of Fire
Album: Nothing In My Way
Release Date: 22nd June, 2018
Label: Self Released
Review by John
It seems to have been an eternity in the making, but, after their 4 previous EPs, the full length debut from Nottingham groovesters Line Of Fire is finally about to be unleashed upon the world.
But has the wait been worth it?
‘Nothing In My Way’ features 8 tracks in total, 3 of which are new versions of previously released tracks and a few that have been featured in the band’s live set for a number of years, so it all has a comfortingly familiar sound.
The crunchy riff that leads us into opener ‘Gonna Get You’ wastes no time in finding its groove. By the time the gravel tinged tones of vocalist Baz Shaw kick in, your toes are tapping and your head is moving along without you even realising it. It’s an almost perfect choice for an opener, featuring fuzzed up guitars and killer hooks. This is reflected perfectly in the lyrics “Join us, are you coming to play? No point in running, you can’t get away”, as Shaw invites you to climb aboard and lose yourself on the journey.
‘Fallen From Grace’ keeps things ticking along nicely and features some sterling work from the seemingly unstopppable Ste Dudley on drums. One of the most striking things about the album compared to some of the band’s earlier releases is just how much difference Dudley makes. Coming on like a supercharged version of ‘What Will You Say Tomorrow’ (from the band’s ‘Nowhere To Go’ EP, it’s another insanely catchy slab of southern tinged metal with a large side order of Motorhead.
By the time ‘The Road Ahead’ kicks in, it becomes apparent that, while the album has been a long time in the making, the time has been well spent. Kicking things up a notch from the opener, by the time it comes to a close, you realise that Line Of Fire have carved out a sound all of their own.
‘Something Ain’t Right’ will sound instantly familiar to anyone who has seen the band live over the last few years, given that it has formed part of their live set for a while now. Oozing down and dirty attitude, once the chorus kicks in you can’t help but lose yourself in the groove. The last section, which sees the twin guitar assault of Dave Lamont and Lawnmower Deth legend Paddy O’Malley used to utter perfection is an absolute joy to behold.
‘Fuck Me’ is a re-recorded version of a track from the ‘Hear Me Scream’ EP, but is light years ahead of the original recording. With a more polished sound closer to that of the bands live shows, ‘Fuck Me’ is more beefed up than a herd of Aberdeen Angus being drip fed Bovril and highlights the real difference that Dudley makes to their sound.
‘One War’ is another track that has been in the live set for a number of years now, although again, is a song that has been given time to fully evolve into the absolute powerhouse that appears here.
Next up is ‘Purple Sky’, originally found on the EP of the same name from 2016. With its psychedelic opening easing the listener in, it gradually builds momentum into a brilliant slice of blues oriented rock, with the tempting offer of “Let me take you for a ride”. It’s an offer that, by this point, you will be almost powerless to turn down.
Sadly, the ride is almost at an end. But Line Of Fire have one last ace up their sleeve to ensure that it is one you never forget.
‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ has seen the light of day twice before, initially on the ‘Nowhere To Go’ EP and then re-recorded with Ste on drums for ‘Purple Sky’.
When they re-recorded this for ‘Purple Sky’, Line Of Fire pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of making a near perfect song even better. So it was difficult to see the point in a third version. Well that goes to show just how much I know, as they have somehow taken a version that appeared impossible to better and made it, well, even better!
With improved production values and added harmonies on the vocals, it remains the bands masterpiece, coming across like the bastard son of Creedence and Skynyrd that has been raised by Lemmy. Haunting, emotive and downright beautiful, it’s the absolute epitome of the perfect album closer, leaving the listener awestruck at what has gone before.
‘Nothing In My Way’ is, quite simply, an album that you need to have in your collection. It will indeed take you for a ride and help you lose your mind. And it is a ride that you will never, ever forget.
1. Gonna Get You
2. Fallen From Grace
3. The Road Ahead
4. Something Ain’t Right
5. Fuck Me
6. One War
7. Purple Sky
8. Wrong Side Of The Tracks
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LineofFireUK
Get the album here: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/lineoffireuk