Black Country Communion / V, A Rock ‘n’ Roll Triumph

A new Black Country Communion album is one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest events. The English/American supergroup, comprised of Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham, and Derek Sherinian, is back with its fifth instalment seven years after its last gathering to give us the aptly titled V.

Black Country Communion – V (J&R Adventures)

Release Date: 14 June 2024

Words: Brian Boyle

Let’s face it. Black Country Communion do not need to do Black Country Communion. The ageless Glenn Hughes seems happy enough flogging his three album tenure with Deep Purple, and Bonamassa churns out albums at will.

Jason Bonham delights with his Led Zeppelin experience while not being surgically attached to whatever Sammy Hagar is doing, and America’s answer to Jon Lord, Derek Sherinian’s phone is most likely ringing 24/7. 

Black Country Communion - V - By Hugh Syme, who designed all the RUSH artwork.
Black Country Communion – V – By Hugh Syme, who designed all the RUSH artwork.

But these four off-the-scale talents have a unique chemistry. Something magical happens when they pool together their respective DNA. Their egos appear to have been checked at the door, and the music they’ve produced since their game-changing debut in 2010 has been of meteoric brilliance.

Of course, this album wouldn’t be complete without the presence of their unofficial fifth member, legendary knob twiddler Kevin ‘Caveman’ Shirley’, a man who has been a near constant in Bonamassa’s solo career and never fails to pump out the best from the prolific New Yorker, and his BCC comrades.

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His supreme touch is imminent, the ever versatile guitarist’s chunky riff to opener Enlighten is the height of simplicity, but always engaging with it’s slick hypnotic vibe. 

Jason Bonham may have nicked a morsel of Frank Beard’s intro to ZZ Top’s Gimme All Your Lovin’ at the start of Stay Free, but the song quickly requires a pair of dancing shoes as it takes on a delicious funk rock groove, something Hughes is more than happy to dabble in.

Forget the Hanging Gardens Of Babylon or The Great Pyramid Of Giza; one of the true seven wonders of the world is the 72-year-old voice of Glenn Hughes.

In an age where the authenticity of both live and studio vocals are looked on in some quarters with suspicion, the purity of the Wolverhampton man’s pipes are beyond astounding. On the blues fuelled Red Sun and Restless it’s no exaggeration to say he is performing at an even higher level than when he parachuted into Deep Purple Mark III in 1973.

The magic of Black Country Communion's new album V and its first single Stay Free.
The magic of Black Country Communion’s new album V

The beauty of BBC is that even with its star-studded personnel, there’s never been any obvious showboating amongst the foursome. The well-oiled rocker Letting Go has them tearing it up as a cohesive powerhouse, a snarling tune that’s like listening to a young and angry AC/DC.

Always a band with a penchant for a spontaneous feel, Skyway has a jam session written all over it. With another loaded riff from Bonamassa and Sherinian’s delicate tickling, it reaches the summit with a chorus that will knock you sideways.

In an age where you don’t have to be in the same country, never mind the same building to record an album, with every track here you can visualise them plugging in together and letting fly.

But the fact they’re not a regular touring band makes that all the more frustrating as Sherinian’s biblical intro to Love And Faith deserves a theatre full of adoring eyes, as does the hooks-a-plenty Too Far Gone.

Whether a tour of some description is on the cards remains to be seen, but the fact will always remain that these songs are too good to be shelf pieces. Plus, we all want to see Bonamassa park his blues dog persona for a bit and just be an out-and-out rocker.

V is a triumphant return for Black Country Communion and a revitalising shot in the arm for good, honest rock ‘n’ roll. Without a doubt, their finest work to date.

Black Country Communion – V – is available from lnk.to/blackcountrycommunion.

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