Blackwater Conspiracy – Shootin’ The Breeze (Bulletproof 20/20 Records)

Genre – Rock

Formed from the ashes of two of Northern Ireland’s most popular local bands (Million Dollar Reload and Swanee River), Blackwater Conspiracy came together as a five piece in 2015, bringing together their fine taste of classic rock artists.

Iron Maiden, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, John Lord and Thin Lizzy receive key mentions amongst the band’s key influences, and it’s fair to say these Co. Tyrone boys have done their heroes justice with this fresh take on classic rock.

Opening with Blackwater Swagger, they piece waste no time getting started with a ballad style, intimate rock song that portrays the intricacies of Brian Mallon’s axe work perfectly, before Phil Conalane’s vocals kick in. Phil’s gravelly vocal style not dissimilar to Kid Rock’s in his chart topping 2007 Rock n’ Roll Jesus, as he ties together an exciting mix of southern blues and his country Celtic roots.

Monday Club is as interesting as the album’s opener, with Conalane’s vocals being stretched further as he effortlessly produces a classic rock vocal master class. This pitch perfect approach continues throughout the album, with Decedent Highway, Hanging Tree and President Joe standing out in particular.

But, there’s much, much more to Blackwater Conspiracy than just an incredible vocalist. This five piece are as polished as any band on the scene at the minute, with an incredibly tight rhythm section that intertwine with the soft touches of Kevin Brennan’s keys to create a wholesome rock and roll sound that we want to hear much more of. This sound really comes to life in Waiting On Hollywood, with a keyboard led opening before the crashing sounds of his Brennan’s colleagues kick in to bring about a blood pumping 80s rock song.

With a brilliant set under their belt at Download Festival, which will be further followed by a set at Rambin’ Man Fair, Blackwater Conspiracy are a band that are now going places, and one that you absolutely MUST check out. This is straight up rock and roll with all the trimmings, and you will not be disappointed.

RUSHONROCK RATED – 10/10 Straight shooting rock and roll!