The boys from the Black Country are back with the long awaited follow up to ‘100% Proof’ and classic/hard rock lovers will not be disappointed.
UND/V/DED features ten tracks which encompass exactly what Gin Annie are all about; classic rock with a thoroughly modern twist. Recorded at Cardiff’s Long Wave Studios with the legendary Romesh Dodangoda, UND/V/DED is not a rollercoaster, it’s a journey which should be savoured, taking in contagious melodies, toe-tapping rhythms, and insightful lyrics just as you would beautiful scenery.
The opening riff of the anthemic first track and lead single Not Gonna Take It pulls you aboard the Gin Annie Express and will be an instant crowd pleaser at live shows. Dave Foster’s vocals match the intensity of the hard-hitting lyrics.
The Last One is an instant singalong with Byron Garbett (Guitar) throwing out comforting riffs and a solo reminiscent of the ‘80s guitar greats.
The second single released from the album, Rain is a sublime mix of swagger, chugging guitars and an infectious rhythm provided by Phil Burrows (Bass) and Lewis Turner (Drums). The journey takes a turn as the intro to Perfect Nightmare gives you a proverbial kick up the backside and the track doesn’t let up with its driving rhythm as it cranks through the gears before Someday puts the brakes on. I will die on the ‘every album needs a power ballad’ hill, and Gin Annie have produced a belter of a ballad with Someday; they have mastered the riff/emotion ratio in the guitar work and vocals which convey just the right amount of feeling without being cheesy.
The pedal is back to the metal with Before which has a more hard rock feel with grittier vocals and a fuller, more powerful rhythm section. Until You’re Mine keeps this vibe going with an opening that reminded me of AC/DC. You may think we have journeyed into a parallel universe as Gin Annie treat you to their version of Seal’s 1991 hit Crazy, and I think I may prefer it to the original. As we approach the end of the album, you could be forgiven for thinking that things would slow down, but that’s not how Gin Annie roll. The 2023 remaster of their 2021 single The Devil In Me now has richer sound that make it even more infectious. The brakes are now applied with acoustic track Turn To Sand in which Dave Foster displays a level of vulnerability in his vocals which are a stark contrast to the rest of the album. It is a perfect end to an album.
UND/V/DED is a solid album that captures the ethos of Gin Annie, but is also a testament to how the band have grown and matured since their debut release.