Personnel: Johnny Gorilla (vocals, guitar); Louis Wiggett (vocals); Bill Darlington (drums, percussion).
Audio Remixer: Ed Turner.
Recording information: Foel Studio (07/2011-08/2011); Randy Martini's Shed Studio (07/2011-08/2011); The Ponswood Hit Factory (07/2011-08/2011).
That's one angry looking military bird on the cover of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell's full-form debut, 2012's Don't Hear It... Fear It!, but the visual really describes the music rather well. Taking their name from a 17th century British naval commander and their sound from rough-and-tumble early-'70s influences like hard rock, blues-rock, proto-metal, and embryonic punk, the Hastings, England-based power trio clearly knows its history, both musical and otherwise. But the crucial point is how this knowledge fuels the band's old-time-rooted music with living, breathing electricity, rather than displaying it on museum pedestals like any other stuffed dodo bird. So, after dispensing with its turgid psychedelic intro, "Mark of the Beast" unleashes a distorted epileptic riff and wild-eyed vocal performance worthy of the MC5, thus setting the raucous, garage-like tone that is repeatedly used and abused by ensuing burnout bruisers such as "iDeath" and "The Last Run" -- the better to salute classic rock forces like Budgie, Dust, and Sir Lord Baltimore (perhaps even Gun, of "Race with the Devil" fame) with enough destructive force for 21st century listeners to relate to. Elsewhere, "Scratchin' and Sniffin'" shuffles along dark alleyways, searching for its dealer; "Killer Kane" kicks and screams like Meat Loaf and Nugent's greatest collaboration, "Motor City Madhouse"; and "Devil's Island" actually plows a more restrained, psychedelic furrow before embarking on a jazzy, bass-led jam reminiscent of Black Sabbath's debut. Finally, what greater endorsement could one ask for than having Groundhogs legend Tony McPhee lend a hand on the trippy freakout "Bean Stew" and the aforementioned "Scratchin' and Sniffin'"? With all this in their corner, the least one should expect of ASCS is that they'll follow the lead of other modern-day psych-rock evangelists such as Valient Thorr and the sadly defunct Zen Guerrilla in scoring a decisive victory (naval or otherwise) for the cause of loud, raw '70s heavy rock with Don't Hear It... Fear It! ~ Eduardo Rivadavia