For the first time on Vinyl and expertly re-mastered by Anders Peterson to make these songs sound cleaner and fuller than on the Archway Of Thorns cd, that features all of these songs in a different order, with the bands first demo tape and three post Gunfire Dance tunes. Gunfire Dance were Anthony Bullock, Jeff Ward, Ozzie and Darren (Rockin' Ray) Birch. Sadly, Ant committed suicide in 2006 after years of suffering from Depression and various addictions. This album is dedicated to his memory.
I didn't really become a Gunfire dance fan until a good 15 years after I saw them open for Jayne County in Shepherds Bush at a gig that Jayne owned in her own inimitable fashion. In the early 2000's I started seeing the bands former members of Gunfire Dance were playing in including The Electrajets, Brian James Gang and Walter Lure's UK touring band and later on The Black Bombers, as well as the band I am banned from seeing, sorry I sneaked in for a song and half and won't name that band either.
So while I won't argue too much with J.D. Monroe's liner notes I will say that they didn't grab me live in the same way they grabbed J.D. but that since getting the Archway Of Thornes and now Witness To The Crime the songs have really grown on me and it's great to hear them mastered as well as this.
The A-side opens like Archway of Thornes with Blue that comes roaring out of the speakers at you, the Bass in your face in ways it wasn't on Archway Of Thornes, the drums beating heart, as the guitars interject as Ant chokes on the color Blue. This is totally full-on Stooges infested blues rock.
Bliss Street is the first of four songs on the album produced by Brian James and Rat Scabies. It rampages with kinetic energy shooting through its punk rock veins.
Bird Doggin' is an amped up cruise through this old sleaze classic, for them to go Bird Doggin' too, it has bags of swagger and bad intent.
Easy Come (You've Just Gone) is another Brian James Rat Scabies production that has guitars frying speeding like maniacs, rocking demons scintillating among the squalor.
Break It Up is a perfect song to sing when the fighting starts, the drums pummel away as it all breaks apart, but they sound like they have no brakes.
Pretty As Sin has a harmonica Stooges blues stomp feel, as they extol the outlaw Rock & Roll lifestyle, in delicious sleaze ridden style.
The B-side opens with the other two Brain James and Rat Scabies productions the first of which is the bands classic Suit & Tie that was the band's first US single, it's all about spiked drinks, spiked guitars, with barbed wire drums as you make sure you have enough of that poison.
Make You Cry is a downbeat slow burning break up song, letting them know in an avalanche of Cymbal tears, the cymbals really standing out far more than on Archway Of Thornes.
It Hurts is more pain and torment for this betrayal, slowly ripping apart as the harmony backing vocals hit the spot in the chorus, as the suffering is stoned into submission.
Burning Ambition has them all a whirl needing to hit the road, going anywhere but back home to Birmingham as Rock & Roll is there route out of all the hometown misery.
Gimme Back My Heart is a rocking plea for more love in a sort of Hanoi Rocks meets Nikki Sudden bruised blues rock kind of way.
The album closes with Archway Of Thornes one last slow blues punk wail of loves pains, spare acoustic guitar with spartan bass descending into the pit of despond, eventually building the band into climactic begged requests over the final wailing guitar freak out.
The re-ordering on this album works really well and feels more cohesive a song order to Archway Of Thornes. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/gunfiredance4x4 https://easyaction.co.uk/product/gunfire-dance-witness-to-the-crime-ltd-pressing-lp/