This is a rather bittersweet post I’m afraid. Operation Guillotine is/was a blues rock band from Coventry, England who described themselves as “five lovable rogues from the Midlands that just aim to bring good vibes” but, alas, they are no more. They had a great run since forming in 2016, releasing a number of excellent, hard-hitting singles, but after experiencing the loss of their drummer and bassist, they’ve decided to officially put an end to Operation Guillotine. However, fear not, because surviving members Alice Clarke (vocals), Rhys Scott (guitar, backing vocals) and Ben “Fogal” Ollis (lead guitar) will soon be forming an entirely new band with a new direction and sound.
I reviewed their previous single, the stonking “No Victory”, just before Christmas 2018. They just dropped their final single “Good Times” on June 28, and it’s a fitting swan song. Even though it was actually one of the first songs they wrote as a band, it perfectly encapsulates their music legacy with the lyric “We’re here for a good time, not for a long time.” They really go out with a bang, delivering explosive riffs of distorted, reverb-drenched guitars and pounding drumbeats.
Alice is a fantastic singer, skillfully matching the intensity of the instrumentals note for note with vocals that range from fiery passion to a sensual purr. Though we may be upset that Operation Guillotine is done, she admonishes us to keep a stiff upper lip: “So turn it around, bring your frown upside down, ’cause baby it’s a good time we made.” And so they have.