Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rose Tattoo

Rose Tattoo, another Australian hard rock band in the vein of their pals AC/DC, are possibly the ugliest r’n’r band ever! This could be why they never achieved more notoriety and fame, especially in the US. They look like soccer hooligans who would rather kick your ass than sing you a song – especially singer with the appropriate sobriquet Angry Anderson!

Frankly, I discovered the band due to other groups covering their tunes – such as the B-Movie Rats and Nashville Pussy. I always liked AC/DC but never thought that I needed a sound-alike band, as well!

But, while they are similar, these are not copiers. The most noticeable difference is the fact that the RT sound is highlighted by the slide guitar of Peter Wells. Very distinctive and very cool!

As with AC/DC, not all the songs are winners – I’m particularly under-whelmed by the “story-song” with spoken lyrics, “The Butcher and Fast Eddy”. But when they’re good, they’re loud, vicious, raw and rockin’! “Rock’n’Roll Outlaw”, “Nice Boys”, “Remedy”, “Bad Boy for Love”, etc are all supremely heavy and yet still catchy.

But lest you think they have no heart, they actually had a semi-ballad with “Stuck on You”, though Angry’s savaged voice hardly makes it quiet and overall it sounds like his tongue is firmly in his cheek.

I picked up the import version of this record with 8 bonus tracks, including live takes of “R’n’R Outlaw”, “Bad Boy for Love”, “R’n’R is King” and “Suicide City”. Studio extras include that humorous “Never Too Loud (for r’n’r)” and the surprisingly serious song about soldiers titled “Fightin’ Sons”.

Fans of the B-Movie Rats (in their less frantic modes) and Aussie hard rock like AC/DC should find plenty to enjoy here!

I found an updated website for the band and it looks like they are still rockin'!