Killing Floor
Rock'n'Roll Gone Mad

OUT NOW: Re-release of the 2012 Killing Floor album plus two previously unreleased tracks and some extra recording. The original four piece line-up from the formation of the band in 1968 - Bill Thorndycraft, Mick Clarke, Stuart McDonald and Bazz Smith. Mick and Bill spent most of 2011 writing 13 original songs and the band assembled in London in 2012 for rehearsals and recording at Heatham House in Twickenham, London.

01 Same Booze Different Bottle
02 Cardiac Arrest
03 Xenophobic Blues
04 Rack My Brain
05 Auntie Peggy's Hand Bag
06 Afghan Coat
07 Rocknroll Gone Mad
08 Dissatisfied
09 Trouble in my Life
10 One Cigarette (Toxic Nipple)
11 Tell you what Happened
12 Cold Water
13 Cold Water Chilled
14 Who's Educating Who?

Recorded at Heatham House, Twickenham
Engineered by Dwayne Hamilton
Piano on "Auntie Peggy's Handbag" by Mick Clarke with love, thanks and apologies to Lou Martin
Barking by Jesus Thorndycraft - Tambourine by courtesy of John Huggins
Mastered by Sean Lynch at Torch Music, Berkshire
Album dedicated to the late Hubert Sumlin - always an inspiration

If you like the music - please buy some!

The original 12 track CD is available now on Rockfold Records RF012

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Original Reviews

Blues Blast Magazine September 2012

What is more addictive than heroin? It has been said that nicotine can sink its hooks deeper than any other drug. As if to illustrate, the UKs Killing Floor has recorded Toxic Nipple (One Cigarette). Disturbingly honest and brutally existential, the song finds the protagonist on his death bed because of smoking; he wants just one last cigarette before I die one last smoke before I croak. One of the Bluesiest numbers, this mid tempo track haunts with Mick Clarkes shimmering guitar lines above a heart-pounding rhythm while Bill Thorndycraft lays down the convincing vocals. Raspy and seasoned, Thorndycrafts vocals throughout the CD are anything but sweet or maudlin.

Killing Floor was formed in 1968 and was an active part of the British "Blues boom" of the late 1960s, which produced so many great bands. Over the next four years the band built a strong reputation on the club and college scene in the UK, played major festivals in Europe and backed Texas blues legend Freddie King on two British tours. Two albums were produced early on, both of which have been reissued many times and continue to sell worldwide. In 2003 the original band reformed to produce a new album "Zero Tolerance" and play selected concert dates across Europe.

Killing Floor has now released their fourth album "Rock'n'Roll Gone Mad" earlier in 2012. The current lineup has all four original members: Bill Thorndycraft vocals, harp, guitar; Mick Clarke guitar, vocals; Bazz Smith drums; and Stuart Mac McDonald - bass. Blues is in the roots of the songs on this album, but the CD title tells it like it is. Dedicated to the late Hubert Sumlin (although you will find few licks invented by Sumlin), the album features twelve original songs. Overall, there is cocksure, damn-straight pose, a little crash and thrash, some sly humor, but mainly gut-felt rawness. This four-some knows that at their ages, there is no time left to be pussy-footing around (and I can relate to that)! Again, read the title.

The opening track, Rack My Brain, challenges the honesty of politicians everywhere with its charging guitar and catchy rhythm. Thorndycraft blows hair-raising harmonica for a rage against xenophobes in another Bluesy number, Xenophobic Blues. Headed for some radio airplay is the dance inducing instrumental Auntie Peggys Handbag featuring Mick Clarke on piano.

The boys must have listened seriously to The Clash and The Ramones as one can hear up-tempo, hard hitting thrash influences in a couple of numbers: the title track, Rock n Roll Gone Mad, and Dissatisfied the latter a clever list of the narrators annoyances.

Lets be honest, when it comes to Blues and its subsequent Blues-Rock, the Brits ironically got it well ahead of most Americans. Not only did Killing Floor get it, they have still got it! If what you want to get is some Brit grit, this is it!

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at in Kankakee, IL.

Let It Rock website by Dmitry Epstein

Getting better by the year: blues veterans' bid for timelessness and immortality.

Their two albums, out in 1969 and 1970, cherished as minor classics now, only a few fans could believe KILLING FLOOR's short span would relapse in 2003 and even fewer might hope "Zero Tolerance" could be followed up. Yet here it is, a new missive from the original band - minus pianist Lou Martin - who sound even fiercier than ever before: quite fitting for our harsh times where Bill Thorndycraft's raw, parchment-dry voice is a powerful force. The quartet tackle the world's injustices in the organ-oiled "Same Booze Different Bottle" and even sharper in the insistent beat of "Xenophobic Blues", so there's a palpable sense of a life lived and tradition sunk in.

The musical weather changes in the arresting instrumental "Auntie Peggy's Handbag", adorned with Clarke's honky-tonk Joanna, and in the country blues of "Afghan Coat" but not for nothing this dozen of songs is dedicated to the recently deceased Hubert Sumlin. The Big Bad Wolf shadow lurks in the old-timey acoustic "Cold Water" and the harmonica-sliced "Trouble In My Life". Still, for all the anger of "Rack My Brain" with Mick Clarke's hammering guitar deployed to ram the message home, "One Cigarette (Toxic Nipple)" adds twangy playfulness to the feel of mortality. The reckless factor grows in stature in the swaying groove of the title track which sees the rhythm section at their most unhinged, punky style, reflecting the crazy change in the psycho climate, but Stuart McDonald's bass and Bazz Smith's drums interlock the firmest in "Cardiac Arrest". It's a good sign when madness is an excuse to go rockin' and deliver another minor classic. ****1/2

Blues Revue

Second Chance Pays Off

I have to admit, upon first listen I thought Rock n Roll Gone Mad.. was just "OK." With each subsequent listen, I grew a little fonder of this album. Killing Floor, a British band, was formed in 1968, and retains all four original members, Bill Thorndycraft, Mick Clarke, Bazz Smith, and Stuart "Mac" McDonald. Raspy and undeniably unique, Thorndycrafts vocal style bestows a bit of attitude to everything he sings, not unlike Tom Waits, Joe Strummer, and Lemmy Kilmister. Dedicated to the late Hubert Sumlin, the album is composed of twelve original songs. It takes big doses of hard rock and blues, tosses in a few sprigs of late seventies punk, and exudes raw, unbridled madness.

Blues runs its course through this album, albeit with a little more "in your face" attitude. The topics all reflect angst of some sort. The opening track, "Rack My Brain," questions the honesty of politicians with its simple, yet infectious rhythm. "Toxic Nipple (One Cigarette)" is quite interesting and a little on the dark side. Its a daunting song about a man on his death bed because of smoking, who just wants one more cigarette before he dies. Its bluesy like Robert Cray, but with traces of Nick Cave. Another strong blues selection is "Xenophobic Blues." Thorndycraft breaks out his harmonica for this anthem against xenophobes, to add a bit more authenticity. The instrumental "Auntie Peggys Handbag" is also a nice treat featuring Mick Clarke on piano. When I hear a band cut loose on a track like this one, it gets my leg a bopping and puts a big ol smile on my face.

Its hard to overlook the late-seventies punk influence on cuts like title track, "Rock n Roll Gone Mad," and "Dissatisfied." The former, a quick-paced and hard-driving song, points out the common feelings we share that make us human. The latter is written in classic punk prose as a "Top 30 list" of things Thorndycraft is dissatisfied with. I love the hodgepodge of classic rock elements rattling around "I Tell You What Happened," which starts out with this cool, funky little intro and melts into a Kinks-like ditty unloading details of a life of debauchery, drinking, drugs, and depression. The riffs threaded through this one are a bit reminiscent of those on "The Real Me" by Pete Townsend.

As I said earlier, I have grown fonder of this album after a few more listens. Music is weird that way. Im glad I gave this album a second chance.

Phillip Smith is a contributing writer at BluesWax

Ik ken geen andere groepen die straks 45 jaar na hun oprichting nog steeds spelen in dezelfde bezetting als bij hun opstart en in al die jaren pas aan hun vierde release toe zijn! Laat dat nu het geval zijn met Killing Floor, indertijd nog actief tijdens de Britse gouden jaren van de Blues, eind jaren zestig, u weet wel de periode waaruit ook bands voortsproten als Free en Led Zeppelin. Wel dit viertal ondersteunde in die tijd nog legendes als Freddie King op diens Britse tournees. Trouwens, hun eerste twee albums dateren al van respectievelijk 1969 en 1970 en blijven nog steeds gegeerd onder de bluesliefhebbers, getuige de heruitgaven en de verkoopcijfers.

Hun nieuwste album Rock n Roll Gone Mad waar we volledigheidshalve moeten aan toevoegen dat pianist Lou Martin niet meer van de partij is, hij overleed in augustus dit jaar, getuigt nog steeds van zeg maar frisse aanpak. Alle nummers werden geschreven door Mick Clarke en Bill Thorndycraft, die beiden de vocals en gitaar voor hun rekening nemen. Laatstgenoemde zorgt trouwens ook voor de summiere harmonicabijdrages. De uitstekende ritmesectie met Bazz Smith op de drums en Stuart Mac McDonald vervolledigen het plaatje. En ja, blues is nog steeds de basis van hun nummers maar evenzo nopen zij tot wat punkinvloeden in hun muziek. Je moet haast doof zijn om her en der niet The Ramones te ontwaren bijvoorbeeld.

Luister maar eens naar het titelnummer, het zou me niet verbazen dat ze knipoog naar die band wel gewild in de titel hebben gezet. Dezelfde rauwe directheid en wat onderhuidse humor. Zelf dragen zij het album op aan Hubert Sumlin en ook deze meester passeert de revue in een paar licks. Sociaal gengageerd in de teksten. Het heerlijke Xenophobic Blues bijvoorbeeld waar de bluesharp wel de woede tegen dat soort mensen schijnt te willen illustreren. Radiovriendelijker is het instrumentale Auntie Peggys Handbag dan weer te noemen. De gesmaakte honky-tonk piano bijdrage van gastmuzikant Mick Clarke zorgt er haast op zijn eentje voor. De geest van Sumlin waart rond in het sublieme, akoestische Cold Water maar hun woede en ergernis over de hedendaagse politici krijgt toch de boventoon. Rack My Brain , de aftrapper, is wat dat betreft illustrerend met dat aanstekelijke, rammende, gepaste ritme.

Is dit nog blues kan men zich na afloop afvragen. Ach het is eerder een mengeling van het genre met Rock en Punk. Doe de moeite om het album een paar maal te beluisteren voor je een eerste indruk maakt want het groeit en boeit bij iedere luisterbeurt. De heren zijn nog niet aan hun pensioen toe, zoveel is duidelijk.

Luc Meert

International distribution to wholesalers through BGO Records
Copyright Killing Floor, Mick Clarke, Bill Thorndycraft 2012 and 2017

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