Back in the post Thin Lizzy days, Laurence Archer Official wrote and performed with Phil Lynott as Grand Slam. Sadly, Grand Slam was cut short in its prime, with Phil Lynott’s untimely death leaving a hole in the fabric of rock music to this day. Laurence went on to make his name playing with UFO but always nurtured a long-term plan to rebuild the Grand Slam machine. And here it is — primed and ready.
Within seconds the quality of the songs hits you hard, hints of the familiar Lizzy sound aplenty whilst never making you feel that this is some kind of tribute. The band and album has a feel all of it’s own – familiar yet unique. With the inclusion of songs written with Phil Lynott back in the 80’s you can se clearly where the familiarity comes along but even these have a freshness with the Grand Slam sound never relying on these songs to define the sound today. The production offers something special for rock fans from start to finish – at no stage does this become simply a riff monster or a showcase for vocal talent. This is a, to these ears at least, a perfect blend that allows the whole band to shine. I can remember when “Dedication” was released as part of a Phil Lynott greatest hits album after his passing and liked the song then but perhaps it just missed the mark a little at the time – the Grand Slam 2019 version takes a great song and lifts it to a whole new level.
The new band (Laurence Archer alongside Mike Dyer, Benjy Reid and David Boyce) honours the traditions of the band’s history whilst also looking to the future — classic tracks co-written by Lynott and Archer sit alongside a set of brand new songs that embody the same ethos of freedom, positivity and adrenalin that ran through Grand Slam in 1984. As such fans will get to hear Lynott co-writes alongside brand new material from a very special band steeped in rock history.
Laurence Archer says. “I’ve been thinking about this moment for many years and I’m so proud of what we, the new Grand Slam, have achieved, “Gone Are The Days” is the most obvious choice for the first release – it’s a song I originally wrote in the late 80’s but with the band we have captured all the new and the heritage elements of Grand Slam and my writing. Grand Slam are back and here to stay. Obviously at times like this Phil is never far from my thoughts, a friend and a mentor and a hero always.”
With every listen I find new favourites, and despite 2019 being another year full of great releases, this one is sure to land towards the top of my favourites of the year. This is classic rock n roll which just works brilliantly – all held together by the songs. Songs come first for all bands and this is what you have here. You can feel the adrenaline rush hit and as a guitar player I just want to be playing these songs and cannot wait to hear them live over the coming weeks. In fact, you NEED to get out there and see the shows and buy the record. It is one of those albums I have to listen to from start to finish and even several times in a row – not because it needs repeated listens, simply because it is just so good. This is what rock and roll should sound like – I bloody love it! This is no blast from the past, this is for today
UK Tour Dates
Fri 22ndNov – The Underworld Camden, London
Wed 27thNov – The Robin 2, Wolverhampton
Fri 29thNov – Winter Storm Festival
Tue 3rdDec – Trillians Newcastle Newcastle
Wed 4thDec – Eleven, Stoke-on-Trent
Thu 5thDec – Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh
Tickets are available here – https://grandslamrocks.com/live/
“Hit The Ground” is released through Marshall Records on the 22ndNovember 2019. The album will be available on CD, LP, digitally and also on Limited Edition Gold Vinyl.
“Hit The Ground” track listing is
1.Gone Are The Days
3.Hit The Ground
8.Sisters Of Mercy