Released by: Off Yer Rocka Recordings
Release Date: Out Now!
Genre: Melodic Rock / Hard Rock
Dave Foster – vocals
Byron Garbett – guitar
Brian Green – guitar
Phil ‘Hammer’ Burrows – bass
Jack Ryland-Smith – drums
- Love Ain’t Here
- Dead & Gone
- New Bad Habit
- Next 2 Me
- Damage is Done
- All I Want
- Haunt Me
- Born to Rock n Roll
In a year that has provided us with some incredible debut rock albums, Gin Annie have produced an absolute cracker. 100% Proof is a hard-hitting melodic rock album with 80s Sunset Strip sensibilities dialled into the modern audience. The Wolverhampton quintet started life as a covers band and decided the time was right to switch gears and write their own material. After a line-up change, the band got to work and produced their debut album. Considering the quality of the writing, it may come as a surprise to note that this would mark the first time any of the band had written music before. It doesn’t show.
Opening the album with its rapid-fire, thundering drumbeat is ‘Love Ain’t Here’. The first time I heard this track, it piqued my curiosity for where the rest of the album would go. It’s such a strong opener, and really does lay down the gauntlet for what the tracks that follow have to live up to. One of the stand-out tracks on the album, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing it performed live. The crowd goes absolutely mental and rocks out from the first note to the last.
Following on is the Southern-fused hard rocker ‘Dead & Gone’ with its big, live sound and blistering riffs. It really sets you up for the rest of the album. Another stand-out track on the album, ‘Chains’ keeps that same kind of vibe going, with a pounding stomp beat, steel guitar, rich bass, southern rock riffs and harmonised vocals, this track will get your feet tapping and fist pumping in no time.
Up next is rip-roaring ‘New Bad Habit’ which really shows off Foster’s impressive vocal range, and the blistering ‘Next 2 Me’ tears us through the middle of the album. Moving on, ‘Damage is Done’ opens with hard-hitting drums and fast n’ furious rock riffs and does not hold back as it opens up into that huge, catchy hook. A proper, feel-good rock n’ roll song, this one will play really well on the radio. One of the heaviest tracks on the album ‘Fallin’ grabs you by the balls as it blasts out of the speakers. Keeping the heavy theme going, ‘All I Want’ just comes at you full force with that crunchy, hardcore electric guitar driving the song along like a locomotive.
Another stand-out track on the album is ‘Haunt Me’. A song that wouldn’t seem out of place on Queensryche’s Empire, this melodic ballad with progressive rock elements, has an underlying edge that makes it fit right in among the other songs on the album. I’d love to hear a stripped-back acoustic version of this. I suspect the result would be stunning. Closing track ‘Born to Rock n’ Roll’ may seem a bit cliché to the average listener, but this is the love song to the band’s own influences, and how many of us rockers can honestly say that this song doesn’t encapsulate us either? A really fun retro rocker, this song really fires up a live crowd and gets people dancing and singing along with wild abandon. Easily an anthem for the NWOCR crowd, this song finishes off the album nicely and puts a stamp on why Gin Annie are as good as they are.
All in all, 100% Proof is a great debut album. With 10 excellent tracks and excellent production values, it is a proper old school rock album, something which we are desperately in more need of these days. This album is chock full of crisp, clear vocals, power chords, sonorous bass lines, and thundering drums – everything you could ask for in a rock album. If you’ve not listened to 100% Proof yet, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy, it belongs in ever rockers music collection!
Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – UK Editor
Erik De’Viking is a London based freelance music journalist. His musical interests include music in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.