The second and final May Blitz album basically picked up where its predecessor left off, with the thunderous and foreboding "For Mad Men Only," and then bludgeoned on from there. Except, where May Blitz concentrated on weight, 2nd of May is more interested in mood and even mirth -- "25th of December 1969" would be almost jovial, if the lyrics weren't so harsh, while the balladic "Just Thinking" closes the album with the sweetest of whispers.
It's a tighter disc than its predecessor. Just two of the eight songs really top five minutes, as the band learned how to cram maximum impact into minimal space, and layered the virtuosity on from there. The helter-skelter blur of "Eight Mad Grim Nits" is as electrifying a guitar workout as you're likely to hear, with the axe panning wildly while the rhythm section soars like a steeplechase behind it; while "High Beech" takes the opposite tack entirely, a psychedelic dream that builds so gently that the effect is almost boleric. "Honey Coloured Time," too, has a gentle mood that puts one in mind of labelmates Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan," as performed by the Full House era Fairport Convention.
And, while a lengthy Tony Newman drum solo doesn't really repay repeat listens (well, not unless you like drum solos), still 2nd of May remains one of those albums that you will find yourself returning to again and again, while wishing May Blitz had held on long enough to cut a follow-up.
by Dave Thompson
1. For Mad Men Only - 4:16
2. Snakes And Ladders - 4:42
3. The 25Th Of December 1969 - 3:12
4. In Part - 6:10
5. 8 Mad Grim Nits - 4:33
6. High Beech - 5:02
7. Honey Coloured Time - 4:13
8. Just Thinking - 5:12
All songs written by Reid Hudson.
*James Black - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Reid Hudson - Bass
*Tony Newman - Drums