Album Reviews
Band: City Of Thieves

Title: Beast Reality

Label: Frontiers Music Srl


I've said it before, and I'll say it once more ... Dear Mr. Simmons, even if your pathetic statement claiming that 'ROCK MUSIC IS DEAD' was said with a twinkle in yer eye, tongue in cheek or the simple fact that you were no longer in the limelight and you craved that feeling for another 15 minutes, I suggest you cop an earful of 'Beast Reality' by London band City of Thieves, because this bugger will not only make you eat those words, but ram the feckers down your throat so you get the message! The buzz that has quite rightly been spreading about them is well deserved, as this album is Heavy Rock at it's best, and with Toby Jepson and Mike Fraser at the helm to produce/mix the album, and also Simon Francis mastering, then you know you're onto a winner, as Planet Rock already know as they are play-listing the foot-stamping Heavy Rocker 'Incinerator'. 

The album kicks off by taking you by the scruff of the neck and shakes the living crap out of you with the boisterous riffmeister 'Reality Bites', the band as one on the gang-like chorus that makes sure you don't want to mess with this lot, then in comes the pounding 70's-fused Saturday night is alright for a piss-up, tear-assed 'Fuel And Alcohol', the one that will have you singing, nay, shouting out the chorus just for the hell of it, and why not? Time for a possible nod to the likes of Airbourne and Rose Tattoo, as 'Buzzed Up City' has that no-nonsense bluesy Hard Rock jacket wrapped round it.  Jamie Lailey doing his very best at those gravel-gargled vocals that suit this music down to the Earth, courtesy of the guitars from Ben Austwick and Adam Wardle, the thumping rhythm section from drummer Will Richards with Lailey's bass in tow, well, you cannot go wrong, can you!

'Lay Me To Waste' juggernauts it's way in on one Hell of a riffage not heard since the days of 'Appetite For Destruction', (and we all know what happened to THAT lot!), no prisoners taken here, just good ol' Rock 'n Roll with loadsa balls n' attitude, followed by Crue meets Revolution Smile on 'Control', again that 70's Rock groove seeping right through the track, filtering on into 'Animal', oh so AC/DC in everything that is on display here, in fact, did you lot have Angus with you here! Bonzer, dudes! 

Get ready to get those hips a-swaying as 'Right To Silence' swaggers like a younger Steve Tyler after a night on the prowl and getting some, (if you get my drift!), the solos keeping the harder edge just the right side of hard without being too heavy for the track, then reigning themselves in a tad on what could possibly be a song about themselves and their long term aims with the straight up modern sounding, melodic 'Born To Be Great', Richards' drumming at the heart of this stormer. 

It's back to that Aussie tinge as 'Damage' is a pile-driver of a Rocker that doesn't bother the brain cells too much, though they will get a damn good shaking with this head-banging beauty that'll make you want to kick the arse of the first dog you see that reminds you of Bouncer, then go and hoy your tongue down the first Mrs. Mangle look-alike, if she ever did anything for you!!??  'Give It Away' leaves the station like a runaway train, the 100mph tempo akin to Motorhead on extra Speed 'n J&C.  Visions of the band thrashing the sh*te out of their instruments foremost in the minds eye, enjoying the whole thing as they do, so it's just as well that it was only an image there, as the album is bought to it's end with 'Something Of Nothing', and this reminds me of that cracking 3 piece band The King Lot.  Melodic Hard Rock with plenty of feeling within the vocals, raspier by Lailey, but the overall sound is like two bands who were separated at birth, both rather good as well, what, what!

It came as a nice surprise to me that whilst reviewing this cracker of an album, I realised that myself and my buddy, mate, fellow Toon Fan and drinking partner (most times!) Richie (no T!!) will be having the pleasure of seeing City Of Thieves at The Boiler House in Newcastle supporting another great British Rock Band, Inglorious, on February 6th, 2019, so to say I'm sitting here with a grin as wide as Mary Millington's ... well, yeah ... feckin' result, man!!

Review by: Robb Baldwin



1.  Reality Beast
2.  Fuel and Alcohol
3.  Buzzed Up City
4.  Lay Me to Waste
5.  Control
6.  Incinerator
7. Animal
8.  Right to Silence
9.  Born to be Great
10. Damage  
11. Give it Away 
12. Something of Nothing 


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