THE ROCKET DOLLS
Release Date: 28th July 2014
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
Welcome to the brash world of Nikki Smash, Tommy K and Benji Knopfler, where the walls of crunching and crashing guitars are set to full power and the chemistry between them creates what their press release would have us believe is "Post Grunge Riff Metal".
If you tried shakin' your maracas in time to this rugged Rock n'Roll you'd break them due to the noise-quake they like to share. Mind you, saying such melodramatic things might prepare your ears for something louder and more raucous than Motörhead at a barbeque with an abundance of amplifiers and the constant stomping of a possessed dinosaur in tow which would be somewhat an exaggeration.
Sure, they sound like hardened bikers on the road to ruin with their brand of edgy Rock n' Roll and lurking beneath the surface are hooks which bite sufficiently.
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Imagine Scott Sorry taking up the permanent position of lead vocalist of The Wildhearts and that places you in the same area as the general sound of Brighton's finest. Apart from having a very cool name for their band, they have good songs too on this debut album. Highlights like the rugged ballad 'Burning Up The Skies', the punchy 'Delirium (Reprise)' and the attitude-driven 'Can't Keep Him Down' all add a spark to the flow of the album.
If you picked up on these fellows back in 2011 when they unleashed 'I Can't Go Back' as a digital single, you will be pleased that after a few years of turmoil, the band have included it on this debut long-player. 'Eyes' has been unveiled as the first official promo track complete with video which you can witness for yourself here...
It would be inaccurate to say that 'Eyes' is the definitive representative for this album as the band within the emotions they lay bare cover a lot of ground. There are elements of punk, hard rock, Metal and subtle nods scattered throughout of bands they respect and appreciate. This debut does reveal a lot of promise and delivers for the majority with crunching riffs, snarling vocals and a solid beat.
'Waste' keeps things tight and versatile with hints of Alice in Chains and a progressive nature at times while album-closer 'Across The Night' starts out like a hangover before finding a 'Sabbath-style riff to climb the journey the arrangement wishes to follow. I personally think they missed a trick with the finale of 'Across The Night' which could have been a rousing ending to what is a cool album as it hints at a monumental riff, but fizzles out too quickly.
Awkwardly poised between being a straight-ahead driving greasy Rock n'Roll band and a thoughtful Hard Rock band with progressive tendencies, they entertain nevertheless. The stutterin' riff in 'Gotta Get A Grip' is tasty in conjunction with their melody line which runs through the chorus. On reflection, you'd have to say there is plenty to absorb and it is good stuff mostly. I guess that is what a debut album is supposed to be; plenty of potential, enthusiastic energy and a little experimentation.
Can't Keep Him Down
The Rope Pulls Sins
Burning Up The Skies
I Can't Go Back
I'm Just Too Weak
Gotta Get A Grip
Across The Night