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'Dead Man's Voice'
(Napalm Records)
Out Now

Johnny Main

johnny main

the new roses

The New Roses were formed by frontman Timmy Rough and drummer Urban Berz in Wiesbaden, located just west of Frankfurt in Germany back in 2007. The following year they recruited a bass player and second guitarist to complete the line up where the fledgling band shared stages with such rock luminaries as ZZ Top, Black Stone Cherry, Joe Bonamassa, Die Toten Hosen and Blackfoot.

In December 2012, the band released their self-titled debut EP which was followed up a year later with their first full length album, titled 'Without A Trace', the title track of which appeared on the German soundtrack of the US television series Sons Of Anarchy. By mid-2014, changes were in the air as the bass player and second guitarist opted to leave and current members Norman Bites on guitar and bass player Hardy joined as the band played shows across Germany, Switzerland and Spain.

The start of 2015 saw a new dawn for the band after they inked a deal with Napalm Records in February which was followed up by a prestigious offer from UEFA to play at the Fanfest during the Champions League finale in 2015 at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Late in 2015, the band played several shows supporting with Accept and Molly Hatchet on their German tours.

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The 'Dead Man's Voice' album is the band's first collaboration with Napalm Records and I have to say that the band have pulled out all the stops to record a very impressive follow up album – eleven tracks of high octane rock n' roll with not a sign of any fillers or soppy acoustic ballads to get in the way.

Kicking off with 'Heads Or Tails' you're met full on with a fast paced rocker that really shows what this band can do. There's a great guitar riff driving the song whilst the Berz lays out the solid and dependable drum beat. All the time Rough gives a great vocal performance, really stretching his voice on some of the longer notes. What's not to like about this track? Nothing that's what – it's just a great opening number!

The follow up, 'Thirsty' continues the president but adds in a big easy to remember sing-along chorus as Berz once again punches out a simple but strong beat. 'Thirsty' can be pretty much guaranteed to be a popular number at gigs and will have the crowd joining in I'm sure.

the new roses

The band pull out a slower tempo for the title track, 'Dead Man's Voice', yet the song remains rich in atmosphere. From the soft guitar and simple drums during the intro the track blasts out of nowhere during the choruses taking you from a sublime to hard rocking tempo in the blink of an eye. All of this before your get to the knockout guitar solo - a real highlight of the album for me from an early listen for me, and it's a song I don't think I'll tire of hearing.

'I Believe' is another fast paced number with Rough putting in another great performance as he stretches his voice to its limits once again. At times Rough sounds a bit more gruff, but this gives his performance here a bit of extra texture and he still retains his own flair and nuances as he negotiates the songs lyrics. Sure there's a slower mid-section to the number too, but it doesn't take long until the tempo ramps up once again.

By the time you get to Song Six – 'Ride With Me' you're half way through the album and you've barely had time to breathe so as a listener you're somewhat thankful that the pace enters a lull for a moment. The pace may slow up but this ain't no slushy ballad as Berz leads the way with the hefty drum beat. Rough's vocals are fitting for the song but he doesn't tone them down that much so there's still a dynamic feel to them, especially during the verses. The guitars don't feel intrusive here, though, it's the drums that are most prominent as Berz batters out the beat.

'Not From This World' is a laid back song but still has a good tempo to it. The guitar and voice intro gives way to a simple drum beat as Rough gives one of his best performances. He puts all his effort into the intonation making this a wonderfully different vocal performance from him. At times he's practically turning in a spoken word performance before he really stretches his voice during the choruses. Oh and that guitar solo - man! Where did that come from? Out of nowhere to dominate and then the guitar seamlessly returns to the background. Great stuff. Really. Highly commendable - the whole track.

Of course, if you're looking for top notch guitar solos then don't forget about the final track 'From Guns & Shovels'. A final grab for glory sees the band finish with an absolute cracker of a track and possibly the best guitar solo of the album. Quite why this track is tagged on is anyone's guess, but it deserves to further up the track list or, at the very least, a place in the band's live set.

There really is a lot to like here and with the band undertaking a lengthy European jaunt in April there's plenty of chances to catch the band if you're in Germany or Switzerland whilst us here in the UK will hopefully be treated to a few live dates later in the year.

You can see the official video for 'Thirsty' here:

You can see The New Roses live here:
Thursday 31st March - Kofmehl, Solothurn
Friday 1st April - Chollerhalle, Zug
Saturday 2nd April - Mühle Huziken, Rubigen
Friday 8th April - Rock am Randen, Merishausen
Saturday 9th April - Eventhalle, Appenzell
Thursday 14th April - Spectrum, Augsburg
Friday 15th April - Backstage, München
Saturday 16th April - L.A., Cham
Friday 22nd April - Lemmy's Bar, Bad Friedrichshall
Friday 29th April - 7er Club, Mannheim
Saturday 30th April - Wird Verschoben, Oldenburg
Sunday 1st May - Maifest, Lubeck
Saturday 7th May - Thors Night, Rorbas
Sunday 8th may - Love Ride Festival, Dübendorf
Friday 20th May - KlubKultura, Gottingen
Saturday 11th June - Bunker, Minden
Saturday 2nd July - Spiders Corner, Grupenhagen
Saturday 9th July - Freigericht Rockt Open Air, Altenmittlau
Saturday 23rd July - Dead Riders Bikerparty, Sumiswald
Saturday 10th September - Raismes Fest, Raismes
Saturday 24th September - Rocknacht, Tennwil

'Dead Man's Voice' Track Listing:
Heads or Tails
Partner in Crime
Dead Man's Voice
I Believe
Ride with Me
Hurt Me Once (Love Me Twice)
Not from This World
What If It Was You
Try (And You Know Why)
From Guns & Shovels

The New Roses are:
Timmy Rough – Vocals/Guitar
Norman Bites – Guitar
Hardy – Bass Guitar
Urban Berz – Drums

The New Roses promo photograph - (c) Severin Schweiger 2015

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