Let me introduce you to Uncle Jayden. Jayden has long black hair that he washes with Pantene for men. He wears an old leather jacket, with patches of eagles and flags and band names and it has studs and frayed edges. Jayden rides a Harley from town to town, imagining flames flying out the back of his bike as he travels. Filled with reckless abandon, Jayden, now in his early 40s, cares not for the establishment. He’s rude. He loves a drink and never lets the truth get in the way of a good yarn. He’s never sought to hold down any meaningful job because he is a true rock n roller. You’d certainly remember him if you met him in a bar, and he’d definitely offer you a ciggie.
Listening to Roadkill’s latest album Ruled By Machines is much like meeting Uncle Jayden in a bar and taking that ciggie. A dose of Rock n Roll mixed in with some Motorhead inspired riffage comprises most of this album. The tracks all have catchy choruses that will burrow their way down into your memory, which is a good start. The structure of the tracks is very ‘samey’. Generally, the tracks start with the main riff just on guitar (or bass) followed by the verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo and final chorus. It’s a winning formula, but some variety would be great to see on future releases. Some of the topics can come off as a little cheesy, so make sure you take your grain of salt with you.
The solo work shows some good potential for these guys, as evidenced by Fighting the Demons, but additional polish would really help here. The production is okay – you can hear most of the instruments – but the blend is a little marred by a heavy bottom end provided by the bass. The performance also is mostly well done, but it does lead me to say, this band needs a dedicated producer to polish and push their sound. Neil’s vocals could use a critical ear to get the most out of him and take this group from being a pub rock band into a legitimate band with something original to offer. Suitable for those sipping beers at the last stop before hell.
Release Year: 2018
Label: Melodic Rock Records
Reviewed by Liam Frost-Camilleri