Black Country Communion — V (J&R Adventures)

Let’s kick this off by shamelessly stealing a line from one of our own reviews.

You can’t beat experience and it seems you can’t beat the BCC experience.

Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa and co. had just fought a nightmare mix and won to emerge triumphant at 2011’s High Voltage Festival.

In truth, their Newcastle show four days later alongside Michael Schenker was far superior.

But this was always a band built for the world’s biggest stages (Jason Bonham’s full kit doesn’t really fit anywhere else).

And the combination of Hughes’ enduring charisma — he was a youthful 59 back then — and Bonamassa’s blazing fretwork made for a High Voltage highlight, regardless of the shocking acoustics.

Back then Black Country Communion was two albums in to a run of three powerhouse blues rock records in three years.

Those were heady days. As classic rock fans we were utterly spoilt.

It seemed like the 1970s all over again and with Joey B blasting out some of the best riffs of his career there was no hint of it all screaming to a sudden halt.

But then schedules — and possibly egos — got in the way. 

There was a frustrating five-year wait between Afterglow and BCCIV and, when it did finally drop in 2017, the latter was nowhere near up to scratch.

Ask anyone and everyone and they all said the same: the death knell had sounded on the most superior of supergroups.

The various band members were moaning. The new music just wasn’t on a par with what had gone before. Oh, and there were those damned ‘schedules’.

But is for victory.

A triumph in adversity, if you like. A five star return to form.

And seven years after BCCIV underwhelmed, this is much more like it.

You can’t beat experience and it seems you can’t beat the BCC experience.

Hughes and co. Letting Go

When Glenn Hughes channels his inner Chris Cornell on the gritty, grungy Letting Go it’s almost a mission statement for the Black Country Communion reboot.

You see, the veteran frontman, Bonamassa, Bonham and Derek Sherinian really have. Let go, that is.

V is the creative equivalent of wiping the slate clean.

It’s an album founded on musical freedom, near blind ambition and a realisation that some things really are worth fighting for.

It would have been far too easy to put this band to bed. For a while, Hughes and Bonamassa did just that.

Reviving the BCC brand was brave, bordering on the foolhardy.

But this stellar quartet’s collective courage has paid off big time.

Bluesy ballad Restless allows Bonamassa to pay homage to his heroes.

Stay Free leans on a 70s-styled, funked up groove that would get the streets of Harlem partying… hard.

And Skyway echoes classic Uriah Heep and peak Deep Purple as Hughes rolls back the years in typically flamboyant fashion.

This is the dizzying sound of deep-lying, defiant, unfinished business.

Just listen to the emotion flowing through Hughes and Bonamassa as they jostle for position with Sherinian (the star of this particular show) on the uplifting, immersive Love And Faith

This is a record that really means something. To the band, their fans and the wider blues rock community.

V good √√√