THE NEW ROSES
Album number four for The New Roses, but album number one for me within the context of my zero prior exposure to these German hard rockers. My proclivity towards this sort of retro, regressive stuff is only ignited as and when such albums arrive for review... with the exception of H.E.A.T, who are in a different league to just about every other act who regurgitates rock idioms of yore. I've always liked H.E.A.T. However, I remain open-minded until hearing just what other bands have to offer, free from overly glorifying press blurb and over-zealous claims by the musicians themselves (The New Roses are quoted as saying this album has "catchy songs with big melodies" and is "a strong and energetic Rock 'n' Roll album without any frills and fillers.") So, just what of 'Nothing But Wild'? Does the music live up to the album's name?
Well, I'm happy to report that The New Roses' fourth album proves they're evidently one of the strongest acts who've hitched a ride on the resurgent retro rock bandwagon. They're perhaps not up to steering the wagon just yet; that privilege is still reserved for the likes of H.E.A.T, but if they keep up this quality of music, they could very well be taking over its reins soon. And wild? Wildly energetic for large parts of the playing time, for sure.
Right from the off, 'Soundtrack of My Life' cranks up the energy levels to eleven, on a track that is... well, as the band claim, "strong and energetic Rock 'n' Roll". The pace doesn't really let up much during the album's duration, until track number six, 'Bullet', a down-ish-tempo, radio-friendly, Bon Jovi-esque piece. 'The Only Thing' sees The New Roses ease their foot on the pedal once again, which is followed by a de-heavied, acoustic-centric 'Meet Me Half Way'. And there are a couple of bonus acoustic tracks to close the album. So there is a little variance here; otherwise, it's all about up-tempo rock-fuelled energy. On this front, The New Roses deliver in spades.
The musicianship is all top notch, too. In particular, there are some pretty nifty, if clichéd, guitar solos, and with a succulently warm-toned sound (not sure if that's courtesy of guitar playing frontman Timmy Rough, or fellow axeman, Norman Bites?); and the vocal harmonies, and Rough's gruff lead vocals add a lot of melodic depth to the songs. Be warned, though, the songs are unashamedly paradigmatic. You can almost instinctively skip along to certain parts of the track and expect to hear a guitar solo; repeated refrains; or whatever, and that's precisely what will greet your ears. This is bread-and-butter rock 'n' roll. No frills, as the band themselves say.
But, add some cheese to that bread-and-butter, and you've got yourself a tasty sandwich. 'Nothing But Wild' is chock-full of cheese. But great cheese. The sonic equivalent of a nice mature cheddar, this album will have some squirming at the thought of such a cheese fest. However, if you let yourself go and have zero expectations but to be entertained by some good old fashioned, nicely crafted retro rock tunes, and enjoy a sandwich that's had a whole slab of cheese crammed in, then The New Roses might very well be your thing.
NOTHING BUT WILD
Review by Mark Holmes
2nd August 2019
1) Soundtrack of My Life; 2) Can't Stop Rock & Roll; 3) Down by the River; 4) Nothing But Wild; 5) Heartache; 6) The Bullet; 7) Running Out of Hearts; 8) Unknown Territory; 9) As the Crow Flies; 10) Give & Take; 11) The Only Thing; 12) Meet Me Half Way; 13) Glory Road; 14) Down by the River (unplugged); 15) Fight You Leaving Me (unplugged)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"The New Roses' fourth album proves they're evidently one of the strongest acts who've hitched a ride on the resurgent retro rock bandwagon."