The East Midlands county of Derbyshire is famous for a number of things, namely world renowned poet DH Lawrence, the Peak District, super nurse Florence Nightingale, the birthplace of Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice and most importantly the Bakewell pudding. But famous for loud abrasive rock music it isn't; hopefully that is due to change with the emergence of Doomsday Outlaw.
Formed in 2013, the Derby five piece are gradually cementing a solid reputation mainly due to their high octane live performances. Their grisly, dark, pungent rock n' roll is now unleashed on the public with the recent release of their debut album 'Black River'. The title track opens things up in bestial fashion, held together with a gritty distorted riff; it's an ominous but brilliant introduction to the band.
The guys caused a massive ripple of excitement last year with the release of their self titled six track EP. And judging by this full blooded tune, they've more than gone up a level. If ever there was a rock voice to make you sit up and listen, it's undoubtedly Carl Battens'. Try and imagine James Hetfield mixed with a large dollop of Glenn Danzig, then whack Down up to 11 and you'll see exactly what I mean.
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Southern rock has been largely mooted as an influence in Doomsday Outlaws' armoury. The sluggish drawl of 'Judgement Day' certainly encompasses that. One of the early impressions of this album is the instinctive off the cuff live feel. The caustic stomp of 'Back On Track' lets loose an impromptu vibe that's purpose built for the live setting.
I may be putting my life in danger by describing 'New Salvation' as a rock ballad. Not that it sounds like Poison's 'Every Rose Has It's Thorn', but there's sentimental qualities throughout the song, only here there delivered with a dark and doomy edge. And once again Batten's pipes excel, which are rivalled by Steve Broughton's and Gavin Mills five star guitar work, a compelling beast of a song.
If ever there was a song ready made for straddling a Harley and eating up the open road it's 'Bed Of Lies'. Opening with a barbarous clatter the Young brothers would be proud of, it's followed by a simple riff that deliciously effective. I have to say it's been a while since I heard an album that's balls grow larger with every song. The bullish 'Mountain Man' is another southern kissed belter that boasts a big brute of a chorus. its harrowing vibe coupled some fine riffage is pure five star rock n' roll.
While the album up to now hits you with the power of a Category Five hurricane, 'Hallelujah' unfortunately merely strokes you with a sea breeze. Not a bad track, it's just up to now, the bar has been set pretty high.
Not to worry, 'Thin Line' steadies the ship with some Sabbath infused rhythms that is followed by the funk fest that is 'Never Train', which also features some nifty skin bashing from John 'Ironfoot' Willis on the intro.
For a closing track, 'Blind Eye' takes a bit of an unfortunate nosedive, a tad feeble and lacking a killer punch. But this is the only true negative on this album; you will struggle to find a better debut this year of that I have no doubt. As it's early days in the band's existence, these guys will be slugging it out in every hellhole known to man, but if the rock n' roll are worth their salt, before too long, Doomsday Outlaw will be dining at a bigger table.
Black River Tracklist:
Back On Track
Bed Of Lies
Doomsday Outlaw are:
John ‘Ironfoot' Willis-Drums