His Lordship is a rock’n roll duo from the United Kingdom that understands the art of reducing rock’n roll to no more than the strictly necessary ingredients, and then serving them so tasty that no one will pass on their portion of Fikkie to shove.
The duo, James Walbourne on guitars and lead vocals, and the Dane Kristoffer Sonne on drums, have had a remarkable career in recent years, and have now finally released their proper debut album on the Psychonaut Sounds label. Somewhere during that journey, which consisted of a lot of live performances, Kristoffer met James, who had already been recruited by Chrissy Hynde as a Pretender. In the meantime, after the original Pretender, drummer Martin Chambers, reached retirement age, there were only two Pretenders left. It is completely understandable that Hynde did not hesitate for a second and made His Lordship her new Pretenders.
As Pretenders they have now made an album that can be considered one of the best of the Pretenders. They played together all over the world from clubs to gigantic stadiums as co-headliners of Guns ‘n Roses, so they have a lot of kilometres under their belts. I saw them for the first time in November 2022 as a support act for Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit at the Roma in Antwerp (Belgium). During an incredibly energetic show as a support act, the band then made it impossible for Isbell’s outfit to overcome it later.
Now their title album. In just under half an hour the band rushes through 12 songs. So nice and high in energy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a retro tire. Only “Rock Fall Echo Dust” really exudes the Brian Setzer feel. The other songs are mainly raw, intense and very 2024. The album was produced by David Wrench and Tchad Blake, who we know from their work with Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys, among others.
As cheap as their suits are, the attitude these men put into their music is as arrogant. Wonderful, what swagger. “All Cranked Up” is the motto of this band. The song with the same title has exactly this attitude. Walbourne is a guitar fiend who plays like his life depends on it. “The Repenter” is the resting point of the album. The energy tries to force its way out, mesmerizing and nervous. You hear that the men have to make an effort to keep it in. This debut album is raw, delicious, and gives hope for all rock ‘n roll lovers. If the music were already dead, or on life support, His Lordship would be the nurse rushing in with the shot of much-needed adrenaline. This album can only be intended to attract listeners to the live shows, because there, in their natural habitat, with their ill-fitting cheap suits and a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the amplifier, the band is really in their element. This is a top album. Point. (8/10) (Psychonaut Sounds)
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