Simon McBride proves himself a true master of hooks — from the vocal lines to the riffs and adorning licks. His new album The Fighter, out May 27 via earMUSIC. Pre-order it here.
The track showcases McBride’s 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 the song. The tension rises — and then McBride settles into a dissonant, stomping mid-tempo blues. A huge riff then overtakes everything. It immediately gets stuck in the listener’s brain.
Songs like “Show Me How to Love,” the straight rocker “Kingdoms,” and “High Stakes” prove that McBride’s music is all about the songs and 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 and sing songs with substance. McBride’s raspy, versatile voice is that of a storyteller. He did not call the album The Fighter for anything. It’s an autobiographical journey — stories of life on the road, of dreams, opportunities, and struggles. “We can do it, but it just takes time,” as McBride sings on “Just Takes Time.”
Ultimately, The Fighter is an impressive and multi-layered album — one that is indebted to the blues and rock tradition, but never anachronistic, always modern, and never concerned about trends. It’s about hope and positivity.
McBride hails from Belfast in Northern Ireland, a place that resonates with the best music traditions like Gary Moore and Rory Gallagher, as well as bands such as Thin Lizzy, Stiff Little Fingers, and obviously U2. Ian Gillan from Deep Purple thinks he is one of the best guitar players in the world. McBride has also played a full tour as a member of Gillan’s band and has played with all-time greats like Don Airey in The Don Airey Band and with ex-members of Whitesnake in the band Snakecharmer. McBride moves easily between the sweatiest rock clubs in town with no crew to playing venues like the Kremlin Palace with Gillan, and then returning home to being a devoted father of two!
THE FIGHTER TRACK LISTING:
“Show Me How to Love”
“Let Me Go”
“King of The Hill”
“Just Takes Time”
“Back to You”