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The Rocket Dolls – Deadhead Review

Genre: Riff-rock 

Label: Rpm

Release Date: 13 April 2018

Members:

Nikki Smash – Vocals & Lead Guitar,
Benji Knopfler – Drums & Backing Vocals,
Joe Constable – Bass & Backing Vocals,

Tracklisting:

   01 None Of This Is Right

   02 She’s Starting Something Now

   03 DeadHead

   04 She Said

   05 The Last Thing On My Mind

   06 Stop The Dead Men Crying

   07 Drowning

   08 The Desperate

   09 Strain

   10 Rusty Bones

   11 Trigger

‘The Rocket Dolls’ a heavy trio from Brighton (just the name of this band fills me with glee) begins their tour de grunge force with crunching attitude with ‘None Of This Is Right’, producing a soupcon of ‘Stone Temple Pilots’ with a twist of ‘Alice In Chains’, great harmonies provide interest from this heavy intro from this East Sussex gang of three. Nice guitar … great screaming melody.

‘She’s Starting Something Now’ has an industrial rock intro, but bleeds nicely into more great vocal melodies from Nikki Smash.   The theme of this track is very topical with the #MeToo generation kicking some ass at the moment, relaying a story about women who had been abused and let’s just say, wreaking revenge on their tormentors!

The title track of ‘Deadhead’, probably my favourite from the whole album, is a dark and deep affair but with a superb rocking beat to it… like this a lot!  Whilst ‘She Said’ has a great guitar intro moving on to an indie feel vibe with a tuneful chorus, very different to previous tracks and definitely has an 80’s ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ slash ‘Teardrop Explodes’ feel to it.  The ‘Last Thing On My Mind’ has an orchestral nod to an almost ‘Jeff Buckley’ influence …this album is actually becoming full of surprises with the really quite varied tracks …. This is totally different in tempo and musicianship again to the first opening songs.

‘Stop the Dead Men Crying’ harks back to a time of very heavy ‘Sabbath’ with crashing drums and then gliding into great vocals, with a chorus which would be quite at home on the main stage at Download, this is pretty much an epic track!

The awesomely heavy thumping guitar and drums return on ‘Drowning’, with Foo Fighters ‘Everlong’ type vocals producing a very cool contrast throughout…the ending is full of superbly heavy, dirty, angst.

‘The Desperate’, which hits you like a crashing, speed freak of a rock whirlwind, makes way for ‘Strain’ sucking you in with tribal drums and grunge guitar.  ‘Rusty Bones’ has that heavy Tony Iommi feel to the guitar with the perfect bass and drums to match.

Ending in ‘Trigger’ thumping and extremely heavy, ‘Deadhead’ has been an album full of surprises.  Initially, when hearing the first three tracks, you settle in expecting to be pelted rather gorgeously with heavy grunge grooves, but then a showering of indie influenced 80’s rock with a smidgeon of ‘Jeff Buckley’ fills your ears.  The name of the band is deceiving, no ‘Vain’ or ‘Britney Fox’ glam rock here, but instead, grunge influenced deep and dark heavy grooves which have been tantalisingly turned up a notch for 2018.

Reviewed by: Fancijn Suermondt

Score 7 out of 10

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