It’s nearly nine years since my maiden encounter with Australia’s Dead City Ruins. A teatime slot in Dublin on a co-headline tour with Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe in front of a scarce gathering didn’t take away from what was a thoroughly memorable ear bashing. And it warms the cockles to see they are still slogging it out, still in search of a pot to piss in, but loving every minute of it, all in the name of rock ‘n’ roll.
Dead City Ruins – Shockwave (AFM Records)
Release Date: 16 September 2022
Words: Brian Boyle
This month their sacrifice and devotion will see them rocking 45,000 punters over three nights at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena with glam lords Kiss. And no doubt they’ll be rattling Aussie bones with tunes from the new and fourth album Shockwave.
The recruitment of Steve Welsh as replacement for longtime frontman Jake Wiffen might have initially caused a bit of apprehension amongst fans, but riff-burning opening tunes Preacher and Vision put you right at ease.
“Steve is out there giving our typical sound a fresh new edge, which is pretty exciting,” guitarist Sean Blanchard said.
With Lamb Of God, Clutch and Crobot producer Gene Freeman on board, there was no danger of DCR losing any of their grizzle. Speed Machine stomps along with an old-school progressive rock vibe but still flexes a big dirty muscle.
It’s hard not to draw similarities between Welsh and former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach. Welsh has the lot, presence, power and a devilish yell. Dog On A Leash and This Side Of The Dirt show why he’s the jewel in the band’s crown and could propel them further up the league.
“These guys have given me the warmest welcome,” Welsh said. “I couldn’t have wished for better bandmates. They took me in and let me be part of something they had been building for such a long time, all the while giving me everything I need.”
With most Australian rock bands being measured against the incomparable AC/DC, or to a lesser extent, Airbourne, it’s refreshing to hear DCR, for the most part, have ground out their own sound. There is a smidgeon of Sabbath on Spiders and Blood Moon with chunky dark riffs and face-melting vocals aplenty, but they are most definitely a homebrew.
With twelve rampaging tracks, there’s not a hint of a few fillers being slung in at the end. The psychedelic groove of closer, The Sorcerer, is the finest track on the album.
Shockwave is an arsenal of raucous rock ‘n’ roll tunes and evidence of a band ready for the big time.
Shockwave can be pre-ordered from https://shop.afm-records.de/dead-city-ruins/.
- Speed Machine
- Dog On A Leash
- This Side Of The Dirt
- End Of The Line
- Blood Moon
- The Sorcerer