Review: The New Roses – ‘Nothing But Wild’

Growing up in Wiesbaden, in central Western Germany, it was inevitable that a young musician, like The New Roses vocalist/guitarist Timmy Rough, would develop a strong American-influenced musical education. Situated on the banks of the Rhine, Wiesbaden has been home to a large American military for some decades now, in fact, the headquarters of the United States Army Europe is still in Wiesbaden.

Rough would perform hundreds of gigs in bars packed with American personnel, and it was here he picked up the great American songbook. The songbook made up of names like Springsteen, Skynyrd, Petty and even the King himself….Presley. A quick learner, Rough took the melodies and the hooks from luminaries like these, added a few sprinkles, joined up with drummer Urban Berz and The New Roses were the end result.

One of the many enjoyable aspects about The New Roses is that they sound American, but without tripping themselves up the way that so many other bands do these days. ‘Nothing But Wild’ is pure and simple blue-collar rock & roll, the kind of album that signals the hooter sounding at 5pm on a Friday, in factories and dead-end jobs the world over.

Don’t go looking for deep and meaningful messages, it’s all about good friends, good music and good times. Rough has the uncanny ability of writing simple, easily identifiable lyrics, like “As long as there is a night, you can’t stop rock & roll”, which you can find on the riposte to those sounding the death knell; ‘Can’t Stop Rock & Roll’. Put a drink in anyone’s hands, drop the house lights, crank up the Marshall’s and they will sing that sucker back full pelt.

Same with ‘Down By The River’, using the tried and trusted river imagery (well, they are from the Rhine after all), they recall memories of “just a six pack and a radio..down by the river” or “it was back in the day..where tomorrow was a year away”. Simple yeah. In two lines they’ve sparked in the listener, flashbacks to long forgotten periods of growing up, where teenagers actually interacted in person. Imagine going “skinny dipping after midnight” today eh? No chance, some bastard would facebook live your shrivelled up jigglies and before you know it, you’re an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.

The great American songbook comes into play on moments like ‘Heartache’ and ‘Glory Road’, with both tipping a hat to the much missed Tom Petty. The Bob Seger tinged ‘Running Out Of Hearts’ is an exercise in how to make an uptempo “pedal to the metal” rocker catchy enough to sing-along with, while still having enough chutzpah to give the neck muscles a workout. One of the highlights on the album is the acoustic-driven ‘Meet Me Half Way’, it sounds live right there right then, and recalls the alpha-dog of acoustic live albums; Tesla – ‘Five Man Acoustical Jam’. The New Roses draw many comparisons, each different to the next, how about adding The Gaslight Anthem to the ever-bulging pile? Every now and then I pick up hints of the New Jersey outfit’s ‘Handwritten’ or ’45’, hardly surprising given that, like Timmy Rough, Anthem frontman Brian Fallon also worshipped at the Springsteen altar.

It’s a band effort though, the big fella behind the kit, Urban Berz, is in complete control throughout the 13 tracks as he brings his bandmates on home, especially on the thrilling ‘Unknown Territory’. Bassist Hardy is a member of the Paul Simonon/Duff McKagan old-school punk rocker bass brigade, and he brings fat, throbbing basslines to the party (‘As The Crow Flies’). Then there is Norman Bites on the Flying V, exploding into life on opening track ‘Soundtrack Of My Life’, flexing his muscles on the title track, ‘Down By The River’ and the crunching ‘Give & Take’.

The New Roses are hardened road-warriors in every sense, so it’s only a matter of time before they land on your doorstep. Until then, make do with this little beauty, but crank it up – big time, the songs take on new meanings when they are blaring.

Available August 2nd through Napalm Records.

Review – Dave

Check Also

FAHRAN: New Single “Sever The Ties” July 29th

Nottingham’s rock-metal band Fahran (pronounced Fa-Ren) are set to release their eagerly anticipated new album, …

SIMONE SIMONS – releases video for ‘R.E.D.’ from her debut solo album

SIMONE SIMONS has released the video for ‘R.E.D.’, from her debut solo album, Vermillion, that’s …

TUK SMITH & THE RESTLESS HEARTS share new album details and single

TUK SMITH & THE RESTLESS HEARTS have today announced the release of their second album. …