Home Read Albums Of The Week: Reef | Shoot Me Your Ace

Albums Of The Week: Reef | Shoot Me Your Ace

The U.K. rock vets recruit Duran Duran's guitarist for their latest high-energy set.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Glastonbury rockers Reef — now a five-piece featuring Gary Stringer on vocals, Jack Bessant on bass, Andy Taylor (Duran Duran) and Jesse Wood (son of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood) on guitars and Luke Bessant (ex-Bryan Ferry / KT Tunstall / Joe Strummer) on drums – bring together a remarkable array of talents who can justly lay claim to being a national rock ’n’ roll treasure.

And Shoot Me Your Ace showcases their talents in one of the most thrilling rock albums of recent years. From the title track’s swaggering opening salvo to rollercoaster closer Strangelove, Shoot Me Your Ace is a thrilling blast of unadulterated rock ’n’ roll joy. There’s plenty of colour and shade across its 10 tracks, from the soaring When Can I See You Again and the soul-powered of I See Your Face to Wolfman’s lupine rock ’n’ roll, there’s no let-up in its delivery.

Guitarist Taylor believes that Shoot Me Your Ace is one of the three defining albums of his entire career. “I’ve been looking to make a record like this for a long time,” Taylor enthuses. “I can’t love it enough. The chances you get in life to do something as great as this album don’t come along very often, so when they do you just grab them.”

Not only did Taylor co-write and produce the 10 exhilarating songs that makeup Shoot Me Your Ace, he’s now a fully signed-up member of the band. “Andy has this deep love of playing rock ’n’ roll music, and we had a chance to play with this amazing talent,” says vocalist Stringer, who co-founded Reef with bassist Bessant in their native Somerset more than 25 years ago.

“The universe has put all the pieces into place for us,” continues Bessant. “This lineup, these five guys, is just one big ball of energy that we managed to bottle. It feels like the start of a new chapter for us — Reef Mk II.”

This cosmic alchemy has resulted in a record that doesn’t just match such classic Reef albums as 1995 breakout debut Replenish or 1997’s transcendent Glow but exceeds them. After two years of uncertainty, despondency and gloom, it feels like an outpouring of positivity. As Stringer puts it: “It’s the sound the world needs right now.”