Roadsaw – S/T   Leave a comment

Roadsaw have dished out sweet kick ass rock for close to 20 years and are without a doubt one of the great American hard-rock bands so why they still live in the shadows of bands like Monster Magnet and Clutch is a mystery. In my view Roadsaw wipes the floor with both those bands considering they have never released anything short of excellent. The band have always had a whiskey soaked swagger and a sleazy groove but on this self-titled album, they have reached their absolute peak of fuzzy-rock perfection. What is immediate about the album is the level of sophistication and class, it is still dirty ass-kickin rawk n roll but they have matured somewhat on this album with the songwriting sounding more concise than ever before. The playing is top-notch of course and always has been but Tim Catz (bass) and Craig Riggs (vocals), along with guitarist Ian Ross and drummer Jeremy Hemond seem to be on-fire on this album.

The album kicks off with “Dead and Buried” and it is a tune so infectious from the choruses right down to the irresistible guitar work and pulverizing drumming. The bluesy grooves are at a premium along with some blistering lead solo work. The production is thick right across the board, not only do the guitars have a powerful crunch but the drums have a thundering full sound so kudos to the production team who worked on this. After the barn-storming opener, second track “Weight In Gold” hits you between the eyes at first but it soon becomes clear that this is the albums worst track, it is not all bad but compared with the rest of the tracks on the disc, this seems like a throwaway and would have been better off saved to last in the running order. “Thinking Of Me” is a pure monster of a tune and can only be described as total hard-rock ear candy. Killer riffs, hooks and an amazing vocal performance makes this track legendary and it is so infectious, it will be stuck in your head – forever more !! Moving onto “Long In The Tooth” and this could be a radio-hit if mainstream radio had any real musical values. It is not that this song is that commercial, it just has so much southern swagger that even the jaded classic-rock audience will love the wah-wah solo work in the middle of the song and the bourbon-fried vocals.

“So Low Down” and “The Getaway” continue the high quality with two classic tunes that are both totally infectious especially The Getaway which gives you a killer adrenalin rush. The energy level is right up there on this tune along with a frenetic tempo. This tune really stands out because of its quicker than usual tempo approach but once the initial shock wears off – it is a little ordinary. Despite the frantic pace, they still fit in an infectious chorus that gets glued to your brain immediately. On the next two tracks, they slow things down again – returning to a total stoner rock vibe. “Motel Shoot Out” and “Electric Heaven” especially provides the biggest ‘sabbathian’ moment on the album. These two songs are the closest tracks to Roadsaw’s earlier style and sound which is in constrast to the rest of the songs as this album is a big step in a more polished direction. This may be a turn-off for some but where as Monster Magnet and other bands have tried their hand at this and failed miserably, Roadsaw come out on top and succeed. “Electric Heaven” is the album’s tripped out, drugged induced psych-rock moment with huge doom riffs before exiting out with another catchy chorus.

“Too Much Is Not Enough” is a short and sweet rocker with attitude but at only 2 minutes, it is kind of forgettable. “Song X” proves you can be commercial without totally sucking ass and while some older fans will most likely cringe a little at this song, it grows on you pretty quickly. It is a perfect blend of catchy heavy pop/rock that doesn’t sell out in either direction as it still has the underlying heavy groove but with a pop accessibility. The album ends on “The Thrill Is Waiting” which has Roadsaw doing what they do best, playing kick ass rock and roll. No frills on this song really, just irresistible grooves and melodies to take the album to its finale. It is true this album is far from perfect, there is a couple of filler tracks but at the same time it is also Roadsaw’s most accomplished recording in terms of production and catchy tunes. If this is attempt to crack the mainstream, it is a great effort and if it just a natural progression of the band – it shows the band is showing no signs of slowing down. There is enough of the old Roadsaw to keep the long-time fan happy but it should also bring a new audience to the band as well. Out on Small Stone………..8.5/10
Roadsaw @ Myspace.com
Roadsaw @ Small Stone

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Posted February 8, 2011 by doommantia in Roadsaw

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