A new album from a new line-up within the Jimmy B and the Death Rattles camp. How will it fair versus debut album “Porno Taught Me How To Love”? If I was expecting something completely different then I wasn’t disappointed… here goes…

“On The Run” has an intro that evokes memories of 80’s film scores before elevating into a Rock/Electro beat with more than a nod to the Hair Metal era, notably in the vocal. The drums and guitars however maintain the rock staple of the song. Lyrically I’ll hazard a guess it’s a song about lost love/chasing love and as openers go it sets the tempo for most of the album.

“Welcome to the Storm” has a great keys intro before exploding into life with rat-a-tat drum hitting and layered guitar notes. The lyrical wordplay is an interesting one, how to use long words ending in ‘tion’ while remaining in rhyme! The hair metal leanings are apparent throughout with the noodle fest in the bridge and the additional female vocal in the background. I just don’t get where the lyrics fits fit the song?

“The Great Beyond” has a more measured intro with the double kick pedal being the main early component. It heavily leans on Bon Jovi for inspiration both musically and vocally. That vocal is both clear and audible with a winding, layered guitar. Occasional guitar squalls are not out of place but the vocals are in the personal ballpark, while the keys in the bridge hold one’s interest. The drums then take over for a big solo which precede another noodle fest that will please the purists, before the vocal elevates itself until the end.

“Ginny Master” completely goes off piste in a direction I wasn’t expecting – mid-album Rock n’ Roll anyone? Ok so it’s a drinking song but one to break up the influences somewhat. The way the subtle drums match the keys are simply great, allied to a layered vocal that owns the song. The bridge is a wonderful ‘tinkling of the ivories’ while the song ending evokes a backstreet drinking den in the company of the local house band – I love it!!

“Gates of Hell” keeps with the piano-led theme and vocal layering. More twisted chord sections and precise drum patterns. The bass is more prominent here which holds the main body of the song, but the noodling jockeys for attention. At less than 2 minutes duration one might suggest this was a song knocked up at the end of a practice session, such is the vibe of the song. It gets heavier and more varied in the latter stages and the ending is sharp – so much so you end up wanting to play it again and again!!

“English Summertime” brings that feel-good factor to the fore. Fuzzy guitars, noodling, guitar squalls aplenty and a bridge that goes all a bit Indie/Electro. A song of such positivity is a rarity these days so I applaud their ambition. It has many elements (mainly Rock) that will appeal to fans old and new.

“I’m Here” is another cut from the Film Score Vault, I’m guessing written from a male perspective perhaps. Vocally reminiscent of Mike Patton (Faith No More) it’s your classic mid-set ‘breather song’, but the way the piano just tails off is so subtle. The vocal layers are both haunting and mesmerising, but evoke a feeling of inner pain.

“Witch in the Woods” uses Amazon Jungle sounds in the intro to set the mood. Then, suddenly without warning the vocals appear over a clicky drum pattern. I feel it’s a song of two halves – latterly there’s hints of Goth and it all goes a bit Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I guess it’s a fun song to break up the familiar but for me it’s a little lost on this collection…

“Journey’s End” returns to more familiar territory with a shimmering guitar intro. Clear, audible vocals – layer upon layer over a simple keys section and lyrics once again very personal. Maybe a love letter or realisation of love lost (hence Journey’s End). The song uplifts briefly in the latter stages with cymbal-led drumming and noodling to match but simply fades away.

“This City (My Poison)” is the album closer and has more in common with their 1st LP with that whole NYC Underground vibe. It’s like a concept song, multi layered and one never knows where it’s headed or when it’s going to end. The longevity of the song would suggest maybe a collection of ideas and a refusal to discard anything – throw it all out there and see what happens… The song (IMO) could be shortened by at least 5 minutes and still have the same effect.

It is always difficult having built a following and released a great decent debut album to repeat the trick with a new line-up. The distinction between the genres of both releases is immense. On this album they have gone with a heavy Hair Metal influence, while attempting to hold onto the influences that originally shaped the band. It’s a tough ask but I admire their ambition and look forward to where their journey takes them next? I just hope the revolving door line-up policy doesn’t continue as I feel it may be detrimental to what they are trying to achieve musically. We shall see, but I wish them well…

Track Listing
On The Run
Welcome To The Storm
The Great Beyond
Gates of Hell
English Summertime
I’m Here
Witch in The Woods
A Journeys End
This City (My Poison)

Jimmy B and the Death Rattles are…
Lead Singer- Adam Humphries
David Payne- Guitars / Songwriter
Jo Jupiter aka Joanna Thorn – Keyboards / Synths / Songwriter
Kristian Driver – Drums
Lead Guitar – Aneurin Graystock


Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

Jimmy B. And The Death Rattles