Black Rock - _Clutching at Straws_
by: Adam Lineker (4 out of 5)
At first glance, one notices the crop of headlines and credits listed under the Blackrock logo on the bio sheet. Yet not only the expected e-zines are featured; high profile mainstream magazines are also singing the praises of this band. And now I get to add my little bit to the roll of honour. My copy of this demo begins with the sound of a record player kicking in. At first I thought this was for effect, until I realised that this recording is either straight off of vinyl or is doing damn good impression of it. As a result, the overall mix has a decidedly warm sound, with the expected rough edges. With a sound that is both raw but deep, Blackrock carve out some great bluesy heavy rock and make no mistake, this could easily be early Black Sabbath were it not for a punkier sneer on the vocals. The guitars are full of fuzzy bite and the bass really gives the whole sound a hefty punch that is so reminiscent of Geezer Butler. The muffled, back-to-basics drum mix adds the final touches; this is the real essence of rock music. The tunes and hooks are soulful and banged out roughly; this is an oily, enjoyable performance with plenty of groove and attitude. "S.O.T.S.O.G." stands out with great structure and effective motif formulation, but all of the tracks are equally enjoyable. If Blackrock can conjure up vivid images of Motorhead and Sabbath at this stage, then it is clear that they have massive potential. _Clutching at Straws_ is performed with groovy aplomb and it is all over far too quickly. The guys on the bio didn't lie (and that's saying something) -- this band should be recognised as the next big thing in groovy, heavy rock.

(article published 1/9/2002)

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