At Her Majesty's Pleasure
Label: Rise Above Limited
James Atkinson is an efficiently howling he-man, but what makes these Brits exciting is their playing -- especially when drum breaks get funky like metal hasn't in eons, in hard-swingers like "The Ravisher." They open at a Sabbath/Free midnight-crawler midtempo, structuring concentric riffs into tough stomps. But before long they're racing into Thin Lizzy tromp-and-roll overdrive in "Your Majesty," tripping out like '71 Alice Cooper in "Into the Haze" and conjuring Dust's scorched prehistoric street-boogie in "Sherman Tank." "Lethal Woman," finally, ends it all with a jam taking flight.