Label: Mascot Records 2011
Review by Alan Holloway
It doesn’t seem that long since Black Country Communion gave us their quite sublime debut album, and I have to admit I was actually quite excited to hear the incredibly poorly named “2”. With Joe Bonamassa in full rock mode, and Glenn Hughes ditching the jazz stuff, BCC have a solid a base to build on as any band, boosted by the powerhouse drums of Jason Bohnam as well as Dream Theatre’s Derek Sherinan on keyboards. It really would be a crime if they couldn’t make it work a second time, so I’m glad we don’t have to call in the cops, as “2” is another sack of big brass balls and pointy sticks.
As with the debut, there’s plenty of kick ass rock here, starting with a great opening duo of “The Outsider” and “Man In the Middle”. “Hadrian’s Wall” mixes soulful hippy nonsense with massive riffs, and it’s good to hear Sheinan’s keyboards making more of an impact than on the debut. Once again, BCC don’t scrimp on the value for money aspect, and there’s ah hour of good music here, with only 3 tracks coming in at under five minutes. “An Ordinary Son” pootles on for 8 minutes and never gets dull, but my favourite is the album closer “Cold”, which sees Hughes flex those vocal muscles like only he can. Bonamassa gets to demonstrate his own talents throughout the album, and it has to be said that Kevin Shirley has done a much better job this time round, with Sherinan’s improved sound giving any of the songs a real Deep Purple feel, notably “I Can See Your Spirit”, which features a lovely hammond organ-a-like solo in the middle.
“2” is another success from BCC, although I still prefer the debut. Along with Chickenfoot, they are a prime example of a bunch of talented blokes getting together and getting it just right. Once again, they have managed to remind me just why I got into rock music all those years ago.