The Gods are back! Yep, after mucho delays and setbacks the kings of chaos finally make a return to the land of the lewd an’lavicious with this, their second album. Those of you with a monster memory will remember that this four-piece originally surfaced a few years ago as Kingpin, putting out one big, bestial bastard of a debut LP called ‘Welcome To Bop City’ on a small Swedish label. The band moved to Los Angeles, renamed themselves Shotgun Messiah, then remixed an re-released that LP on the American Relativity label. Back then, Shotgun Messiah were about fishnet thighs, licking middle fingers, exposing buttocks, low-life sleaze and generally getting themselves into as much trouble as possible. ‘Second Coming’ sees a whole new band – both musically and image-wise. Out go the multi-coloured fishnets; in come black leather and zippy punk trousers. Also out went vocalist Zinny, allowing hyper-star in the making Tim SKold (aka Tim Tim) to switch from bass to vocals, with Bobby Lycon joining as the new bassist.
Tim’s voice gives Shotgun Messiah a whole new dimension and lease of life – especially when put together with guitarist Harry Cody’s in-demand talents. Cody, despite being what may at first seem to be a trash band, should never be underestimated; between Shotgun Messiah sessions he played on Stu Hamm.s LP, and when you consider that Hamm’s usual guitar player is Joe Satriani, then that really does lend the man some credence.
This is a much harder, heavier, more aggressive album than most would expect from Shotgun Messiah. I first heard demos of this material last Christmas, when Tim and Harry were passing through London on their way to Sweden, end even now I remember being suprised by the change of direction they’d taken. In reality, it’s the album they *had* to make in order to get away from their throwaway beginnings and finally be taken seriously.
‘Second Coming’ has some 100 per cent over the top, utterly untouchable songs held close to its heart. In particular opener “Sexdrugsrockn’roll” and following kiler “Red Hot” hit that all important epot, the team of Skold and Cody leading the way to Utopia. Like an orgasmic combination of Skid Row, Mötley Crue and Love/Hate, this new material is so damn catchy it’ll have you itching just thinking about it! First class choruses are the order of the day here, no more so than on “Nobody’s Home”, where the classical line *Weirdorama, psychodome* is rhymed with *the lights are on but nobody’s home*! “Trouble”, meanwhile, is the only song that is in any way reminicent of the old Kingpin days, sound vaguely like “Dirt Talk” from the first album.
What is surprising here is the number of slower songs on offer: “Living Without You”, “I Want More” and “Ride The Storm” seem somehow weird coming from Shotgun Messiah, cos I just don’t see them as a ballad band. They’re fierce, rude snot-heads, not cuddly pink Nelson-style teddy bears!
Another evident trait here is the use of ’70s-style pop rock – but with a brash, punk attitude. Just check out “I Wanna Know” and “You And Me” for some great Sweet-style danceability! An’ while we’re talkin’ of the ’70s, there’s also a cover of the New York Dolls’ “Babylon” here, Tim spitting the lyrics out with real street-kid venom and bite.
‘Second Coming’ is the new bible of cock’n’roll. Stick yer dosh in the collection plate pronto.