The Almighty Page 5

Writing on a guitar given to him by former Rose Tattoo guitarist Pete Wells, Ricky poured the frustrations, joys, regrets and dreams of the past four years of his life into the strongest collection of songs ever to bear his name, with Nick emerging as a valuable collaborator. And then with young Dublin producer Ronan McHugh manning the studio desk, the quartet set about about laying down a brand new Almighty album. Recorded in two weeks (and mixed in Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliott's Dublin studio), the result is described by Warwick as "honestly think the best album we've ever done, a real full-on dirty rock and roll Almighty album."

From Parson's grinding "Broken Machine" through the sweet Ramones-style pop of "Big Black Automatic", the SLF-flavoured "Poison Eyes" and the rock'n'roll rumble of "White Anger Comedown" to the full-tilt punk stylings of "Fat Chance", it's an album which draws together the band's disparate influnces and experiences into an incendiary, feral and unrelentingly visceral whole. Lyrically the album runs the gamut from the personal to the global, the deadly earnest to the completely throwaway, with Warwick's "For f**k's Sake"- "the most apathetic, nihilistic song I've ever written," says Warwick (sample lyric: "Let's go burn down the f**king world") butting heads with Parsons' celebratory drinking song "BarflyÕ (sample lyric" "Everybody's waking up, heads exploding") in a kaleidoscopic, black-humored, been-there-done-that ever-so-slightly cynical worldview. It's no coincidence that The Almighty's sixth studio album is entitled The Almighty, because it is quite simply the band's definitive recording.

'Reformation' used to be a dirty word, but not when the band in question sounds this hungry, this inspired and this vital. The huge international success of recent comebacks from Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden have proved that not everyone wants to listen to baggy jeans-wearing, pierced faces Yanks whinging about their dysfunctional upbringings over hip-hop beats and half-assed guitars and the world-wide thirst for quality British hard rock remains unabated. Who better then to quench that thirst than The Almighty... "If we were just into nostalgia we'd just go out and play the old stuff rather than spending our time writing and recording a brilliant new album,"says Ricky Warwick with a smile. "I've been checking out web pages on the Internet and I know people are excited about this. I get a lot of letters from kids who are buying our albums but never got a chance to see the band and they canÕt wait to have us back. IÕm getting a huge buzz out of the band again and I promise The Almighty have never been better. But don't just take my word for it..."

Let's go burn down the f**king world...