"Penny Dreadful" (Outlaw Recordings; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Imagine, if you can, that George Thorogood or Stevie Ray Vaughn was the guitarist for AC/DC. Imagine that their blues- and booze-soaked guitar style were given a deeper throb and a raunchier fuzz. If you can wrap your mind around that image, you'll get a pretty good idea of what Billy Butcher's "Penny Dreadful" sounds like.

An intensely guitar-driven CD, "Penny Dreadful" bulges with bluesy noise, ZZ Top-ish guitar riffs and toe-tapping rhythms that will have you reaching for the volume knob again and again. It all sounds better turned up to 10.

Grittier and more honest than the blues-heavy work of Cinderella, but sharing a lot of that band's knack for blending rock and blues expertly, "Penny Dreadful" will appeal to fans of the aforementioned Thorogood, Vaughn and ZZ Top, as well as those who like their harder rock tinged with more than a hint of blues drawl.

Billy Butcher: Pete Parker - guitars and vocals; Rick Thulin - bass; Rik Fedyk - drums. Additional musicians include Christopher Allen - harmonica; Willie McCalder - piano.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:10 -0400.