The Larry Normans formed at the turn of the century and went through the usual revolving door of musicians before releasing their debut album back in 2005. They gigged hard and played festivals such as Big Day Out until 2010 when they went on hiatus and members Andrew Ashton & Matt Hyde joined Head Like A Hole and Beastwars respectively. Fast forward to 2023 and we find a new album as the band have been resurrected by original members Andrew Ashton (guitar) and Paul ‘Bubs’ Stephenson (drums) who recruited singer Nathan Rea and bassist Jonathan Bowen. I asked where the name came from and was somewhat surprised to hear they named themselves after someone at school, as I immediately thought of the Christian rock singer who is credited with releasing the first ever Christian rock album and for writing the classic, “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?”. Mind you, having now heard this, one can see they may not actually have been inspired by him.

Produced by Barry Blackler, here we have good old-fashioned stoner garage rock as The Larry Normans go back in time to channel the likes of The Stooges, MC5 and others. There are times when they bring forth the spirit of Lemmy, while “Long Ride Home” is nothing but solid Sabbath – Nathan Rea has Ozzy off to a tee, and if they decided they wanted to move more into a doom area (although with a bouncy groove), then one can hear it is not going to take much at all. This is early Seventies, a time machine taking us back fifty years in less than 3 minutes. There is an underlying blues feel to much of this, and while one can argue there is also some grunge in what they are doing, their fuzzed-out distortion shows a much stronger appreciation of the likes of Kyuss than Nirvana. This is rock which has been allowed to breathe and become something nasty and dirty, yet somehow always with a commercial edge which will make it attractive to lovers of all types and subtypes of metal. Punchy and in your face, this takes us back to a time when music was made by musicians and not machines, when playing gigs was what got you noticed and not how you looked and whether you could dance and sound like everyone else. This is from a time when music was free spirited, and that vibe pervades this release which is a blast from beginning to end. Welcome back guys.

Rating: 7/10