Black Bombers

Single Review

Black Bombers – Last Bite /  You Take My Money  (Easy Action Records)

Limited Edition 7″ vinyl single / DL 

Released 1 April 2022 but pre-order now

Birmingham Rock ‘n Roll veterans whose primal racket contains elements of both proto and post punk, drop a new 7″ on Friday, April 1stYou’d be a fool to not get hold of a copy says Ged Babey as this is Maximum Rock’n’Roll Guitar heroism of a kind you rarely hear nowadays; a state of the nation eulogy that kicks ass and the best cover version you’ll hear all year. 

It’s a shame, we didn’t listen
Such a shame, we didn’t care
It’s a shame, to see us lose everything we held dear
It’s a shame, we were so stupid
Such a shame, and so blind
It’s a shame, to believe in these madmen and their crimes and their lies

I thought that Black Bombers were basically a ‘dope guns and fuckin’ in the street’ kinda rock’n’roll band, inspired by the MC5, Stooges, Heartbreakers etcetera. They take there name from a ‘regional term for black & white capsules containing biphetamine, a recreational drug popular in the 1970s’. But there’s more to them than just that…

They are also a Birmingham band – with a history stretching back to drummer Dave Twists days in the Prefects, bassist Darren Birch playing in glam/sleaze legends Gunfire Dance and Alan Byron and Darren’s time with the “George Romero / Ennio Morricone influenced, Horse Feathers”. Former Godfathers/Disobedient Servants guitarist Steve Crittall is now also a vital and full time member.

This release comes as ‘UN-SCENE!’, Black Bombers’ drummer Dave Twist’s compilation album of Birmingham Post Punk, is receiving real acclaim and is already in short supply…

The Last Bite 7 inch single is, to my mind an utter classic piece of heavy rock’n’roll.  It has the dark malevolence of a proper piece of early Gothic including a great guitar-sound not dissimilar to the one found on a lot of ’80’s classics. With the bass playing chords instead of notes, and the rhythm guitar shards it combines to make a multi-layered, epic sound. It’s a cliché but – Play Loud.

The lyric is an angry, despairing lament to the stupidity of roughly half of the population who left “Our pride as a nation in the hands of a clown”.  Depressing subject matter that takes flight on the chorus and electrical storm of guitar.  It really does have the dark euphoric energy of classic Gothic Rock’n’Roll.

All Fools’ Day 2022 seems the perfect time to release a track about false promises and the fantasy of returning to fading Empires. The recording for the single was originally carried out with engineer Simon Bishop during one of those brief respites from Lockdown in the Summer of 2020, and was then developed in the Soho studio of new Black Bomber guitarist Steve Crittall over the following few months.

The ‘B’ side of the single features Black Bombers’ cover of The Damned’s ‘You Take My Money’ – the much maligned second album being something of a band favourite. Bass player Darren Birch played with Damned guitarist Brian James in a short-lived lineup of his James Gang band.

All classic punk rock singles had an equally magnificent B-side – and the Black Bombers version of You Take My Money is totally fucking wild. It’s improves on the original by cranking up everything to the max. Steve Crittalls guitar-playing is histrionic, hyper and hysterical. In a good way!  He plays as if the world is about to end and he has two and a half minutes to make as much noise and bend as many notes as possible to create a sonic maelstrom that could just maybe prevent our annihilation!

Or maybe he is just showing off.

He has been described as ‘a rock’n’roll McGeoch’ and you can see, or rather hear, why on both sides of this vinyl.  He does need a fuckin haircut and a shave judging from his appearance in the Last Bite video, but he has added a touch of magic to an already very special band.

Here’s the video for You Take My Money.  Not suitable for those of a nervous disposition – or if you’ve just dropped a tab of acid.

The Black Bombers have dates around the country in the coming weeks and play the DIE DAS DER benefit show for Ukraine on March 27th at the Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath Birmingham.

Pre-order ‘Last Bite’ here

Black Bombers on Facebook

All words Ged Babey (PR content in italics)

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.

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