Review: The New Roses – Dead Man's Voice

Irony is a funny thing. The new album from The New Roses landed in my lap the very night that the BBC aired their new documentary on Guns N’ Roses. Calling yourself The New Roses, with a sound that tips it’s hat to the Old Roses is also ironic, or ballsy, depending on which way you look at it. Without the benefit of knowing where the band hail from you would perhaps be inclined to think that they were another top quality Rock & Roll band from Australia or part of the influx of bands from Scandinavia. But no, The New Roses are indeed German, a nation who according to stereotype neither don’t do irony or have no sense of humour, so let’s go with the notion that it was a ballsy move to call the band – The New Roses.

No frills is a description that usually means lack of quality or cheap and nasty, i.e. no frills products from supermarkets are usually inferior to all the others on the shelves.This isn’t the case however with no frills music. Some of the most famous bands in the world play no frills music. The Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Motorhead, amongst many others, play or played basic, simple,stripped back Rock & Roll that does exactly what it says on the tin.

The New Roses also play no frills Rock & Roll, they keep it simple by getting the basics right and building it up from there. ‘Thirsty’ for instance is a totally upbeat banger with almost Poison like gang-vocals (thinking ‘Nothing But A good Time’), but don’t be put off with the Poison reference as the song has real power and vigour as well as some glorious hooks. ‘Partner In Crime’ is a more traditional Hard Rock/Metal sound akin to Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry whilst the title track see’s vocalist Timmy Rough rest his gravelly Axl Rose/Bon Scott voice in favour of a lower,more natural tone and the song has a real gritty swampy groove to it along with generous helpings of riffage.

‘I Believe’ and ‘Ride With Me’ are modern day bangers with outstanding vocals from Rough on songs that seemed to be honed from many nights on the road and would go down a storm in any Rock clubs around should the band make the break out of mainland Europe.’Hurt Me Once (Love Me Twice)’ is classic late 80’s early 90’s inspired American Hard Rock, when bands such as Little Caesar, Junkyard and Circus Of Power were all being touted as the next GNR.

During that era every band had to have their power ballad, it was compulsory to have the black & white promo video to go with an angst ridden tale and The New Roses take on this regulation is “What If It Was You”.The perfect lighters/cell phones in the air interlude from the pounding,sweaty Rock & Roll…speaking of which… ‘From Guns & Shovels’ is a perfect storm of AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses inspired Rock to see out this impressive album.

Any fan of guitar driven Hard Rock will find plenty to enjoy on this album. There are no Biffy Clyro/Enter Shikari style mid-song changes,just the type of music that us old farts bemoan that no-one makes anymore.

Dead Man’s Voice is released February 26th through Napalm Records.

Review by Dave Stott

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