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REVIEW: Roughneck Riot – Out of Anger

November 6, 2014

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REVIEW: Roughneck Riot – Out of Anger

Warrington’s folk-punk masters, Roughneck Riot, have been tirelessly touring the UK and Europe in support of their brand new album, Out Of Anger; fourteen politically charged tracks that scrutinise government policy and address the social state of the UK. It must be said, this is an incredibly bold move for the band to make and with the reinforcement of their fast-paced, kick to the teeth groove, their message couldn’t hit the audience stronger, live or through the player.

‘Animosity’ is the album opener and immediately gives a taste of what Roughneck Riot are getting at, discussing how politically-reserved the UK is and the unfairness of the meritocracy’s power and influence over the people. One would expect the sound to be harsh for a subject such as this – it’s whimsical, very light-hearted but simultaneously very gritty. The guitar work and pace of the track is comparable to Levellers, where the vocals are comparable to Bad Religion‘s Greg Graffin. The mandolin, banjo and accordion meld with the guitar tones, vocals and drum beat to produce a song packed with the right amount of punch, carrying over straight into the lead single, ‘Parasites’.

This is where the real fun begins, as the starting hook and leading riff hits like a day-long earworm – it’s that memorable and catchy. It’ll keep you awake at night, it’ll bother you while you’re working. Making the cut at just under three minutes, it’s hard not to fall in love with this track and finishes leaving the listener wanting more. Another wonderfully structured track on the record is ‘The Other Side’, number ten on the running order, which is slower and stands out from the rest. As soon as the first lyric kicks in, “don’t hold back”, you’re in. The vocal harmonies have been well crafted and it’s staggering how much of an upbeat, positive impact it has on first listen – the song morphs into an emotional rollercoaster and the message of the song hits hard. The Other Side speaks of the ever-present suffering caused by greed inherent in modern Western society. It’s a track that will change your perspective on this topic regardless – it’s the stand-out track.

Some tracks are not as memorable or as compelling. ‘England’s Desperate Liars’, ‘The Last Of Us’ and ‘Each Man’s Hell’ all sound fairly similar, which affects the personality of the record. You can have too much of a good thing – the message gets lost inside the message and becomes diluted. Roughneck Riot needed to seek a little deeper and not stick to a single point quite so rigidly. Variety is the spice of life.

That said, Out of Anger, as a third album, is overall a really impressive effort and showcases what Roughneck Riot stand for and what they do. If you’re a folk-punk fan with political leanings, you’ll love it. For the casual listener, the album is slightly more hard work – but put in the effort and there’s lots to like here.

 

Listen to: ‘Parasites’, ‘Resistance’, ‘The Other Side’

For fans of: Dashboard Confessional, LevellersFrank Turner

 

‘Out of Anger’ is out now in the UK through TNS Records – you can purchase it on CD here, and on vinyl here. It will be released in Mainland Europe on November 17th – pre-order it here.

Roughneck Riot UK Live Dates:

November 15th – The Zombie Hut, Corby

December 6th – Dogfest, Warsop

 

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