The Almighty – Powertrippin’: Album Review

The chart bothering third album from The Almighty gets a reboot with a set of extras to add value to the package.

Release date: 26th February 2021

Label: HNE Recordings Ltd

Format: CD / DL

Ricky Warwick’s in the mood. Currently in high profile with his own solo release and now enhanced with the reissue of the Hard Rock Powertrippin’ from the band he built with his school pals. Stump Monro, Floyd London and Warwick were joined on Powertrippin’ by second guitarist Pete Friesen

Released back in 1993, it followed the hard rock debut Blood, Fire & Love from 1989 and 1991’s Soul Destruction. Warwick recalls being on tour with Iron Maiden in Germany when the album hit the top five in the UK charts. The Almighty was already causing blips on the radar, touring with the likes of Megadeth and Alice In Chains as the musical climate shifted from the slickly produced hair metal bands of the Eighties into a far more earthy prospect Powertrippin’ sees them as dedicated followers of fashion with a sound tilting toward the fashionably grunge before they were to return to their punk roots in the latter years.

Disc one is the album and it’s a treacle thick and dense experience. After the lumbering Addiction, Possession packs enough power to take us towards thrash. Built on brutal riffing, it’s a sweaty tour de force and the barrage is a clear marker for why you’d be pretty powerless to the onslaught of The Almighty and The Wildhearts on tour. Two bands with attitudes and musical inclinations cut from the same cloth.

Jesus Loves You…But I Don’t initially relies on the lyrical sentiment for its power. A strummed acoustic interlude gives way to a massive climax while the sheer frantic pace of the title track gives an indication of where The Almighty have come from and where they’re going. A close relation to Lemmy and his boys, it exposes the relationship between hard/heavy rock/metal and their estranged punk cousins. A place where the Almighty perhaps are at their most comfortable.

Mixing cool bluesy rock grooves with sort of dangerous swagger that you’d find with anything where Slash is on guitar (beyond the obvious, Velvet Revolver springs to mind) sees Out Of Season as the most obvious (and available on blue vinyl) single.

Disc two pulls together 16 bonus tracks in one place. Live, demos, B-sides and radio edits. Their punk roots are on show via the Pistols’ Bodies and In A Rut (yes – The Ruts original) but also with Neil Young’s Fuckin’ Up (perhaps an inspiration for the album titling? or should that be titlin’?) and an acoustic version of his Rockin’ (naturally…) In The Free World.

The three live tracks are, as you’d expect, a step up from the recorded versions and pure dynamite. Powertrippin’ in particular taken to another level. Two and a half minutes of visceral heavy metal crossed with punk. So much so that next to Neil Young’s Fuckin’ Up, it makes the latter sound positively tame. And to hear Warwick (sort of ) channelling his inner Johnny Rotten while keeping his cool is good fun.

There are plenty of gems of which the demo of Free ‘N’ Easy from Soul Destruction stands up nicely albeit in rougher form and the B-sides that perhaps deserved a bit more, particularly Insomnia, which is another of those two and a half minute blasts of energy.

The package with repros of coloured vinyl sleeves (must chase those up), scans of press clippings and the poster for the tour with The Wildhearts and Kerbdog in 1993. That must have been quite some night’s entertainment. f your eyes are up to it, you may be able to read the Kerrang! review on the inner sleeve. And a Malcolm Dome essay with plenty of Ricky Warwick quotes. One of which has him declaring “‘Powertrippin’ really was a game-changer,” which is, from the horse’s mouth, fair comment.

Take a mo’ to check out the interview with Ricky via Classic Rock

Here’s Jesus Loves you…But I Don’t:

The Almighty online: Facebook

Ricky Warwick online: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Youtube

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