Album Review: Florence Black – Bed of Nails

Album Review: Florence Black - Bed of Nails
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

Straight out of the valleys of Merthyr Tydfil, this power trio of Tristan Thomas, Jordan Evans and Perry Davies have been tearing up stages across the continent since the release of their 2021 debut record, Weight of the World. Guest slots with Kris Barras, Ugly Kid Joe and Steel Panther, and festival slots at the likes of Hellfest, Resurrection and an emergency showing at last years’ Stonedead, as Mason Hill’s replacement, have garnered Florence Black no end of positive regard.

But, the time had come for the three lads to get back in the studio and convert all those road experiences into the sophomore record, resulting in the long awaited Bed of Nails.

Opening with the ironically titled, Start Again, the band waste none on their forty-minutes on mere ephemera and instead dive straight into the meat of Bed of Nails. A choppy riff and some pummelling classic rock is the order of the day, but delivered with a modern twist. The production is fat and lush, letting those guitars ring out and showing the rhythm section to be the solid foundation they are. Don’t Hold Me Down was debuted at Newark last August and it’s the sort of timeless tune that gives you chills and finds you wandering down Memory Lane; listening to this, I forget my knees hurt as much, such is the transformative power of music.

Later, Warning Sign finds the band willing to mix up their styles, beginning with an acoustic guitar and smooth vocals, before switching to a more classic feel and including a killer solo. Beautiful Lovers starts with a stomping riff and stirring progression and feels destined to be one of those ‘couple’s songs’ where they glance over at each other as soon as it starts playing and have an instant connection. Well, whatever floats their boat.

Album Review: Florence Black - Bed of Nails

Florence Black is never afraid to mix it up a bit and they switch things about on the title track, which finds the trio adopting a Marilyn Manson vibe with a big industrial statement opening, filling the tune with crunching guitars and reverb-heavy vocals. There’s a country feel to the beginning of The Forest and both Look Up and The Way Home are loaded with bold and brash guitars, leading to something of an LA Strip in the Eighties sensation.

Rockin’ Ring is perhaps the most aggressive Bed of Nails becomes, through the echoing stings and general ominous and unrelenting feel. Taxman is no less aggressive, but finds the band paddling in more familiar waters, sounding a little like mid-era The Almighty, it’s fast and furious with a killer solo and is bound to provoke a huge reaction whenever it’s played live. For the jeering and cajoling of the title character, if nothing else.

As Start Again began things, so Back to the End brings it to a close; and what self-respecting Hard Rock album can omit a Power Ballad? Those loved-up-eye-lockers will love this one, though to be fair, it ticks all the boxes of what made a top-quality chart-botherer back in the day.

Bed of Nails feels like the next step on Florence Black’s inevitable rise to top of the Rock tree. But there must be something in the water over Offa’s Dyke, what with these lads and Those Damn Crows, both on the brink of world domination. Whatever it is, I hope it doesn’t spread to the rugby team.

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