Sentinel Daily readers will probably know guitar-playing singer Rob Coffinshaker best from his contributions to the ouvre of Swedish booze-based thrashers Gehennah; however he cuts quite a different dash indeed with his Underground Fire project, covering all sorts of dark and glamorous ground along the way.
In fact, fans of anyone from Johnny Cash to Social Distortion will find something to get their teeth into on Ashes of Life, such is the variety offered up by young Rob and his band of not-so-merry men. Opening track Underground Fire paints the most straightforward picture, but after that Coffinshaker takes the listener on a whistlestop and very enjoyable tour through all things noir; Passage is a particularly storming example of the man’s craft, opening with a bassline surely nicked from The Sisters of Mercy before morphing into a languorous, foot on the monitor anthem backed with ethereal fifties female vocals; It’s Tiger Army meets Sleep of Monsters if your frames of reference are more modern, but whoever it sounds like it’s a big bastard of a track and it’s a winner…
Blood Moon Rise is another personal favourite – doubtless you’ll find your own – with Coffinshaker’s fine guitar playing coming to the fore to complement his sinister croon. 3:33 is sure to bring a wry smile to the dial of any AC/DC fans who stumble across it’s cheeky lyrics, whilst the quite superb Summer Ends finds the band in sultry, gothic mood with Coffinshaker weaving tales of evil atop a fine, riff-heavy tune.
If spritely punk-informed fun is your thing then I Wasn’t Made For This World has a nice, garagey spring in it’s step, with Coffinshaker and fellow guitarist Anders Karlsson ramping up the wattage with some nice playing; but honestly if you love a bit of punk with your gothic country, there’s absolutely nothing here that won’t get the juices flowing. Highly recommended.
Ashes of Life Releases on November 6th.