Yes, these are very uncertain times indeed, but fortunately we can rely on the good ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL to blast our brainwaves with greasy, gritty retro-rock on a fairly predictable basis. This is getting to be one of those “never fail” bands and I can’t think of anybody doing the early ’70s proto-metal/blues rock shtick with more authenticity and good humor than the good ADMIRAL.

It is tedious to repeat in each successive review of ASCS, but these guys are able to channel the rugged, raw and loud sounds of the early 70’s blues rock scene with amazing fidelity. Very Uncertain Times sounds a bit cleaner and not quite as bass-heavy as past efforts, but it also sounds even more retro, if that is possible. There’s a kind of early MOTORHEAD vibe to material here…that is, if MOTORHEAD slowed down a bit, axed the pure punk and jammed out a bit more. The vocals are rough and whiskey-soaked in a very Lemmy way. Getting to the nitty gritty, ASCS always just plugs in and jams hard.

The opening title track and ‘Ten Years Later’ emphasize the bluesy side of the band, then ‘The Third Degree’ and ‘Mr. Freedom’ are a little harder and faster and to the point. In the second half, the guys deliver some of the heaviest and catchiest riffs of their career in crunchers like ‘Iceberg’, ‘Blackworth Quarry’ and the rather whacky ‘Biscuits For Victor’.

The song titles reveal the boozy and eccentric humor for which the band has always been known. Things end logically and powerfully with ‘No Man’s Land’. I think Don’t Hear It…Fear It! will always be my favorite from these guys, but there’s sure nothing lacking in Very Uncertain Times. ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL is always the top of the game in early ’70s riff worship.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality

Very Uncertain Times
Rise Above
4.5 / 6