Album review – AVIATOR SHADES “Ready To Blow”

ReadyToBlowI mentioned this EP way back in January in my “Favorite albums of 2013…” post for Hard Rock Nights, saying that it would have been one of my faves of last year, if only… I’d already heard it (thanks guys!), but it hadn’t been released yet. Now “Ready To Blow” is out, and oh man oh man: if you haven’t heard it yet, I almost envy you because you’re in for a treat.

Vancouver’s Aviator Shades is just one of those bands that have it all: pure, hellacious rock’n’roll firepower; deep-dish-satisfying musical talent; and a knack for making tunes that gets your shimmy-and-shake muscles moving. There’s an old-school sensibility of classic rock (Thin Lizzy and AC/DC are definite influences), that blends perfectly with the band’s new-school rip-roaring heat and muscle.

As soon as the tasty, bone-heavy riffs of the title track “Ready To Blow” hit my midriff and ear-drums, I’m a goner. This opening track is a killer of a tune, and it’s followed by what might just be my favorite tune here: the ridiculously catchy “Who Do You Think You Are”. The first time I heard this track live, I couldn’t get it out of my head for days.

After that kick-ass opening, the EP never lets you go for a moment: “Heartbeat From Heaven” has the kind of fist-pumping chorus that you can’t help but sing along to, while “Since You Ain’t Around” shows off the band’s gentler side and singer Dave Gorman’s impressive vocal chops.  Just lean back and ride this rock’n’roll wave right to the end: there’s the sizzling southern-rock-flavoured rocker “Tallahassee Woman”, followed by the thundering Thin Lizzy-vibes of “Eye of the Storm”.aviatorshades

The real rock’n’roll goodness is in the details here: in the explosive, twinned guitar power of Shaun Michael Thackeray and George Baker (an impressive thing to see on stage); in the golden vocal pipes of Dave Gorman – the Irish-born, now turned Vancouver-rocker who also manages (like a certain other Irishman named Phil Lynott) to ply the bass with skill and force; in the powerhouse drumming of Spencer Tomlinson; and last but definitely not least in the rock-solid backup vocals and (yes!) actual vocal harmonies that this band is capable of. I’ve seen them live twice, and I know that these guys are the genuine article, and that is something you don’t come across every day.

Aviator Shades plays with fire, heat and a blazing sense of rock’n’roll conviction. If you haven’t checked out this band yet, you should remedy that as soon as humanly possible.


  • Dave Gorman: Lead Vocals/Bass,
  • George Baker: Lead Guitar/Vocals,
  • Shaun Michael Thackeray: Lead Guitar/Vocals,
  • Spencer Tomlinson: Drums/Vocals


  1. Ready To Blow
  2. Who Do You Think You Are?
  3. Heartbeat From Heaven
  4. Since You Ain’t Around
  5. Tallahassee Woman
  6. Eye of the Storm

Aviator Shades official website / Facebook / Twitter

Also check out my gig-review from last year, and my interview with Dave and Shaun, originally published at Hard Rock Nights.



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