Monday, November 17, 2008

Rose Tattoo - Blood Brothers

Back in the late seventies, if you were an Aussie bloke in search of some seriously hard rocking, blues-based, riff mad, pub rock and roll, there were three bands you looked to. AC/DC, The Angels and Rose Tattoo. Well, we all know the AC/DC success story. The Angels (aka Angel City) were never able to overcome their name confusion and get the acclaim they deserved and eventually called it a day, and Rose Tattoo? Well, Rose Tattoo just kept rocking on.

Lead by the frantic, rough-hewn vocals of legendary madman Angry Anderson, Rose Tattoo endured line-up changes, untimely band member deaths, and stuttering stops and starts, but now, in 2008 the Australian masters of brawl and plundering rock have come roaring back, releasing another in a long line of quality rockers upon the unsuspecting public.

Whereas AC/DC was content to run around in a school boy uniform, and The Angels soared on the leather throated punk madness of their lead singer Doc Neeson, Rose Tattoo never bothered with constructing an image other than their tattooed bodies and biker gear. These guys just lived rock and roll. Tattooed up the wazoo, bald, fiercely ugly and damn proud of it, you get the feeling that if anyone of these blokes ever took a good one in a bar fight, he'd just bleed axle grease. This is pure Harley Davidson, fuck-you-if-you-don't-like-it, rock and roll.

Near legendary in Australia, Angry Anderson may be better known to most Americans for his role as Ironbar Bassy in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. But don't go thinking this diminutive ball of spitfire, oil stains and hell is a novelty singer. Anderson's voice, always strong and raw, as if his throat had been stripped of all it's endothelial lining, is also surprisingly telling, able to carry a ballad or a balls-out rocker equally well. All of which leads us to this new platter of petroleum power.

"Black Eyed Bruiser," let's us know right away that Anderson, now 61 years old, hasn't lost any of his fucking moxie. "If you see me walking down the street/you better get out of my way," he wails with power in his leather lungs and you better believe him. Sixty years old or not, I have no doubt that the man could kick my ass, eat my lunch and send me the bill for the privilege of crossing his path. In fact, I place the Angry one right up there next to Lemmy as being the only two sixty-year olds who can still rock with more fierce abandon than a whole state full of pretty boy pretenders. Powering out a stuttering, ass-crunching riff behind him, the band sounds invigorated and raw, plowing at you like the sputtering rawness of a Harley motorcycle on full throttle. "Slipping Away," drops immediately into another stuttering riff before leaping into the foray, like a man jumping into the midst of a raging brawl. Despite the bands 4/4 beat power, a real melody lies underneath the slamming AC/DC-esque riffs. No matter how you slice it, this one's a corker.

"Once in a Lifetime," rages out on the strength of another bloody knuckle and bruised fist riff, telling an outlaw tale of rebellion and salvation. "1854," is an honor-bound track to the spirit that formed the country down under, riding another fantastic riff through the raging chorus. While mention of AC/DC will always follow Rose Tattoo in the nature of their rock, and there is a similarity between their styles, "1854," shows that the boys can rip out a riff mad rocker without being derivative of their native cousins. This is mature song writing, melody heavy, strong and fierce and as solid as anything Angus has put out in a while. Just a pure, straight ahead rocker.

And from there, Rose Tattoo just never let up. With their Harley's pointed off towards the horizon, they rip through the blues-based "City Blues," the steroided-up hard rocking blues muscle of "Sweet Meat," the roaring "Man About Town," the hard rocking gritty riff fest of "The Creeper," all the way to the charging near punk sex-up to a vixen who comes complete with her own assortment of lubricants and devices, "Lubricated."

While Blood Brothers was originally released in 2007, this re-release SpecialTour Edition comes complete with a DVD of the boys tearing it up Live at Wacken in 2006, giving you a chance to see for yourself that there's no way you'd want to cross they blokes in an alley on a darkened night. Crap, I bet even their six-year old kids could beat the hell out of me. And I'm an old rugby player!

It's been nearly six years since Rose Tattoo's last explosion of down under anger, 2002's Pain, and that, my friends, is six years too long. We need this shit. We need some real rock and rollers to come in and blow all the crap off our CD players. And that's what Rose Tattoo does, shoving a blasting cap up the collective butt of rock and roll. They don't care about fashions or trends. They don't give a flip about fads. Never once have they tried to be the "it" band. They are the real deal. Living, breathing, bleeding rock and roll. They just want to crash their Harleys through the front door of some unsuspecting watering hole, pound down a slew of beer, beat the fuck out of some posers at the bar, eat a few steel chains for breakfast, then ride back out into the outback sunset. Rocking all the while. Just fucking rocking all the while.


Buy here: Blood Brothers

1 comment:

Chris said...

They were meant to support Motorhead at a show here las year but cancelled two weeks before the actual show. It would have been great.

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