Sunday, October 21, 2012

Black Sunday: Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Don't Hear It... Fear It! (2012)

While at first glance they may be dangerously off-putting with their oddball historical name or giant bird mascot, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell satisfies anyone's hankering for old-school Budgie-flavored hard rock with their solid full-length debut, Don't Hear It... Fear It! It's a sound that seems custom-made for the vinyl format and the record, released in a total of five variations, is an entirely satisfying affair.

The album as physical product is a relatively minimal offering, its one excess a gatefold sleeve which features two nice, wide photos of the band, with their feathered friend up front. The design and aesthetic are spot-on for the band's throwback sound and image. Tracklistings for both sides occupy the Side 1 label with an ornithological illustration from the 2011 "Return to Zero" 7" on Side 2.

A total of 1,300 records were pressed with 300 in purple vinyl with a bonus 7" containing "November" and "Cursed Earth." Another 100 clear vinyl came with the 7" with the remainder of the pressing coming sans single and split between 300 each of black, red and green. Multiple outlets stock the "regular" edition with Rise Above Records still offering all three of the colors - and I have yet to find the special edition with 7" anywhere. Don't Hear It... Fear It! is a fine, fun record that will fit well with any off-kilter hard rock collection, particularly those with a little Atomic Rooster, Dust, Budgie or Blue Cheer on the shelves.

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