Released by: Ace Mafia Records
Release date: 15 September 2018
Genre: Heavy-Rock, Grunge, Metal
Kay Ghibli – Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Jerry Sadowski – Drums
Geos – Bass/Backing Vocals
Ben Lundy – Rhythm/Lead Guitars
01. Snakes ‘N’ Ladders
02. Face To Face
03. Stop Loss
Formed via the Camden-based Hard Rock and Metal institution ‘Metalworks’, Ace Mafia have had to wait a while since their independently released 2009 debut ‘Vicious Circle’. The main reason for that being Richie Faulkner replacing the indomitable KK Downing in Judas Priest. I don’t think anyone would begrudge him landing his dream job! So, the band, having gone on hiatus until earlier in 2018, decided to return but with a renewed vigour and intensity as can be evidenced by this self-titled EP.
If this is a taster of what we have in store from these guys, then Ace Mafia will get heads banging across the land. It gave Richie Faulkner (who is featured on this EP before joining Judas Preist) and Ben Lundy the limelight to create short, sharp and punchy riffs, with blistering and dovetailing solos thrown in. Ably supported by Geos (bass), Jerry Sadowski (drums) and K Ghibli’s impassioned and soulful rock vocals, this makes me excited for what this band can achieve in 2019.
‘Snakes ‘N’ Ladders’ the lead track and first video from this era, gives us an example of that riffing and soloing straight from the off. ‘Face to face’, starts with a piano riff but quickly leads into a soulful rock tune. The incredible solo on ‘Stop Loss’ is just such an example of why guitar heroes will always have a faithful flock to worship them. ‘Breathlessness’, the final track on the EP, gives us a little hint of Soundgarden and leaves us wanting more from this band, and soon!
If you like a bit of Zakk Wylde, Soundgarden and Floodgate then this band is for you. There are a lot of Zakk-style touches to the guitar work, which can only be a good thing in my opinion! The vocal style is a mix of Chris Cornell, Mr Wylde and Kyle Thomas of Floodgate. All combined, these tracks form an impressive return to the scene.
This is an impressive EP. Maybe the only thing I can mark this down for is that there are only 4 tracks and maybe a full album from these chaps would be just what the rock doctor ordered in 2019.
Ace Mafia will be playing a free to enter headline show to launch the EP on September 29th 2018 at the Big Red, London.
Written by: Stefan Putwain & Simon Kneller