OPERATION GUILLOTINE – Single Review: “Good Times”

Operation Guillotine Good Times

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.

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.

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OPERATION GUILLOTINE – Single Review: “No Victory”

Operation Guillotine single art

Operation Guillotine is a delightful blues rock band from Coventry, England who describe themselves as “five lovable rogues from the Midlands that just aim to bring good vibes”. And their wonderful moniker is entirely fitting, as they sonically slice the airwaves with their dynamic, hard-hitting sound. Formed in 2016, the band is fronted by vocalist Alice Clarke, and includes Rhys Scott on guitar and backing vocals, Ben Ollis on lead guitar and Ben Addison on drums and backing vocals. (Their bassist Chris Sizer just recently left the band, and will be sorely missed, but the band has a replacement lined up ready to assume the mantle of bassist.)

They’ve released a number of excellent singles, beginning with “Underneath the Lights” in 2017, and their latest is “No Victory” which dropped yesterday, 21 December. It’s a fun, hard-driving banger, with chugging riffs of gnarly guitars, pummeling drums and loads of crashing cymbals that make for an exhilarating listen. I love the little flourishes of distorted guitar that add a bit of sexual tension in the beginning. But for me, the most interesting aspect of the track are Alice’s intriguing vocals, which register in the lower octaves here than on their other songs. She exudes a raw sensuality that perfectly captures the band’s intent in the suggestive lyrics.

The song is about failing to score on a date. As Rhys explained to me: “It was written after our friend went on a tinder date that went horribly wrong and he said all the wrong things. They were both determined to do stuff but it didn’t go as planned. We tried to catch a sleazy vibe in the music as well as the lyrics.” I think they succeed quite nicely, and have a hit on their hands.

Ooh come on over, baby what you got
Give me everything I like it or not
Strip me down to my underwear
Show me everything I’ll never care

So drink it down my sister
Down my brother
Sinking in this feeling is there nothing at all
So drink it down my sister
Down my brother
Meet you at the end I will be taking you home

Drop down to your knees (repeat)

Connect with Operation Guillotine:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream or download their music on Spotify / iTunes