‘THE FIGHTER’ is a fantastic, impressive, and multi-layered album. It is indebted to the blues and rock tradition, but never anachronistic, always modern, but never concerned about trends.
Songs like the great ‘SHOW ME HOW TO LOVE’, the straight rocker ‘KINGDOMS’ and the new high-energy single “HIGH STAKES” prove exactly that: McBride’s music is all about the songs, the soul.
Whenever this guitar maestro starts a solo on the six-string, it is rousing and impressive, but never a mere means to an end in itself. It’s the work of a musician who has not only deeply mastered his instrument, but also knows how to write songs with substance… and how to sing them! McBride’s raspy, versatile voice is that of a storyteller. One who has seen a lot… and did not call the album ‘THE FIGHTER’ for nothing. It’s an autobiographical journey, stories of a life on the road, of dreams, opportunities, and struggles. “We can do it, but it just takes time”, he sings in ‘JUST TAKES TIME’, yet another highlight of the record.
The new single ‘DON´T DARE’ cements Simon´s rock guitar heavyweight status, showcasing his songwriting chops to their fullest. A casual Bonham-esque groove underpins the always flawless guitar work, which is all held together by another great vocal performance. A rearing wave of noise opens ‘DON´T DARE’. The tension rises — and then McBride settles into a dissonant, stomping mid-temp Blues. A huge riff comes up and overtakes everything. It immediately gets stuck in the listener’s ears and brain — and it won’t by any means be the last riff on this record. McBride proves himself a true master of hooklines, from the vocal lines to the riffs and adorning licks, everything is utterly catchy and (even the guitar lines!) truly singable.
Simon comes from Belfast in Northern Ireland, a place that resonates of the best music traditions like Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher and Stiff Little Fingers. Ian Gillan from Deep Purple thinks he is one of the best guitar players in the world! He has played a full tour as a member of Gillan’s band and has played together with all-time greats like Don Airey in the Don Airey band and ex members of Whitesnake in the band Snakecharmer.
McBride moves easily between the sweatiest rock clubs in town with no crew, to playing Superstar-venues and then returning home to being a devoted father of two.
It is an album made of songs of hope and positivity.
CD: 1. Don’t Dare 2. Show Me How To Love 3. Kingdoms 4. The Fighter 5. High Stakes 6. Let me Go 7. 100 Days 8. King Of The Hill 9. Just Takes Time 10. Trouble 11. Back To You 12. The Stealer
Vinyl Side Split:
Side A Don’t Dare / Show Me How To Love / Kingdoms / The Fighter / High Stakes / Let Me Go
Side B 100 Days / King Of The Hill / Just Takes Time / Back To You / Trouble / Stealer