Thursday, May 23, 2024

Ian Hunter shows Defiance Pt 2:Fiction

Hot on the heels of last year’s excellent Defiance Pt. 1, Ian Hunter is back with the follow-up, unsurprisingly titled, Defiance Pt. 2: Fiction. I said of the first part, “It’s not heavy rock but it does rock and is a testament to Ian’s abilities as a writer and performer that such a disparate guest list seamlessly fits with his unique style and approach. I cannot wait for Part Two”.

Well, I wait no longer, Fiction is another guest star-strewn affair where, yet again, Ian remains in charge. He wrote all the songs, played the piano, and added his trademark vocals while the guests suitably added their bit without trying to take any limelight. Once again, the songs are the key and the mighty guest list respects that. (Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Brian May, Lucinda Williams, Dean DeLeo, Robert De Leo, & Eric Kretz, Joe Elliott and Phil Collen, Johnny Depp (who also supplied the cover art), Billy Bob Thornton, Morgan Fisher and – in what proved among their final studio recordings – the late, great Jeff Beck and Taylor Hawkins).

There are no duff songs amongst the ten tracks, so my highlights are: ‘The 3rd Rail’ which is a rolling, almost country blues, but with Ian’s characterful vocals and Beck’s simply wonderful guitar. ‘Precious’ brings Brian May’s tone to bear in a Mott meets Queen meets pop/rock masterclass. ‘Kettle of Fish’ is a brilliant heavy, bluesy song with some superb lyrics from Ian, with the Cheap Trick guys complement this clever song very well too. ‘Weed’ has delicious slides, genius bass and more piercing and accurate lyrics from Ian with a clever melody to boot.

I am running out of superlatives for this varied, imaginative and brilliantly realised album. It may not be heavy rock but it is packed to the gunnels with such high-quality songs that still rock that you should listen to (I mean listen, not just hear) this excellent addition to a significant Mott/solo cannon from a remarkable talent that is still burning brightly and long may he continue. 

Defiance Pt 2:Fiction is out now!

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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Hot on the heels of last year’s excellent Defiance Pt. 1, Ian Hunter is back with the follow-up, unsurprisingly titled, Defiance Pt. 2: Fiction. I said of the first part, “It’s not heavy rock but it does rock and is a testament to Ian’s...Ian Hunter shows Defiance Pt 2:Fiction