A lone trumpet with some strings. A lonely city in the desert with tumble-weeds rolling slowly. You expect to see a band of bandits, but then you see one man with pulling around a cart filled with instruments. He starts playing a reverberated song while kicking a bass drum. The name? Ben Nicholls, aka Dennis Hopper Choppers, with a new album simply called Be Ready.

It's a noisy, decisively foot thumping affair. 'Good to me', 'Girl walked out of town' and 'My destiny' have this grandiose rock feel to them. The chords are powerful and full of attitude (especially in 'My destiny') and you can feel the warm desert air oozing and seeping through the pores of these songs.

The reverberated sound seems to be the weapon of choice, although never abused. It's funny how a this album sounds so retro but at the same time, fresh, with its mixture of blues, desert rock and rockabilly moods, it's a very nice combination, one that goes well with Ben Nicholls's voice, whose experience as a session player seems to grant him access to quite a few tricks due to the diverse range of artists he's played for.

The flow of the album is strange. This is not meant as a slight, as it proves that Ben Nicholls knows how to attack a different style without losing the panache sported in the other songs. What I mean is that maybe you'll encounter a song right out of the end credits of a seventies Weird Western ('Moscow nights') followed by a sorrowful ballad ('Blue') then capped off by another belting rocker (the raucous 'Razor gang').

It probably helped Ben Nicholls that he is now working with a full band, so many ideas he sported in his previous album Chop-LP now feel developed (but not cemented), so they feel agile. Dennis Hopper Choppers seems to be finding a path they like on Be Ready and it feels as exciting as doing a stoppie in a lonely highway a stone's throw from a cliff.

Be Ready has a very cinematic feel to it, whether fitting perfectly into a Robert Rodriguez film, a road film or a Western, the heavy reverberated guitar, the choice of chords (including a homage of sorts to Deep Purple's 'Child in Time') and the flow of styles is cohesive enough to make it a good experience for fans of a drier type of rockabilly (although the album does cover other genres). Nifty second album by Dennis Hopper Choppers.

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