Dead City Ruins – Never Say Die (2018)

Dead City Ruins

Never Say Die

AFM Records

These Aussies bring forth a bout of hard, thumping blues rock with hefty slices of heavy metal dispersed throughout. You’ll be reminded of Sabbath just as much as you will Zeppelin and Soundgarden, though when all of these acts were at their heaviest. Though that’s because the band have a very thick low-end, with Matthew Berg’s bass riffs pumping so loudly in the mix that your neighbor across the street will be able to discern them well enough, without any problems. Just in case you were worried. Because your music isn’t loud enough until everyone in your area can hear it. Though something like that might come in the form of a live concert, which you’ll definitely be able to catch along with the release of this album.

These guys have been jamming with the likes of Mastodon, Wolfmother and Fozzy, which are all acts known (as of recent) for blending the fire of heavy metal and the raw energy of hard rock together in a package that should suit both fanbases. These guys easily prove their mettle with the first three cuts on the disc, and if you’re not feeling anything by the time you get to “Rust N’ Ruin” then I might suggest a rock rehabilitation course. Now I know that western media has all but tried to bury rock music (and I mean real rock music) in its sea of pop-influenced garbledygook, but that doesn’t mean that other areas of the globe are just as clueless as we seem to be.

That being said, Dead City Ruins are certainly an accessible band, but accessible in the same way that I might recall some of the classics of the seventies, eighties and certainly the nineties (there is so much of that grunge and hard rock influence to be found here).“The River Song” for example, is a bluesy sing-along but manages to have enough structure to keep it rolling beyond a simple verse/chorus. Then we have “We Are One” which has a definite Wolfmother or current era Mastodon feel to it. In addition to the heavy bass end, this one comes with touches of prog. Then you have the blues-funk of “Destroyer” which goes back to the same level of fuzz and groove that we got with openers “Devil Man” and “Bones.” The Led Zeppelin influence here is uncanny, but it doesn’t seem to be a complete retread and instead manages to take such a classic sound and reformulate for modern ears. Of course, the youth of today are so flooded with different sounds on a daily basis due to the wonders of technology; so one cannot say for sure as to how well this will reach them. That might be a losing battle. But even if it is, it definitely isn’t a sign of defeat for these rockers. “Raise Your Hands” comes in like a Sabbath classic that we’d never heard before, with frontman Jake Wiffen even channeling a few Halford-esque howls here and there. He can certainly hit the highs and dominates with them when he does, so combined with Sean Blanchard’s attention to detail in regards to channeling several upon several classic influences, there’s an award-winning package here for fans of what I’d consider to be, simply great rock music.

If you enjoy great rock music and wouldn’t mind checking out some of the more modern approaches to it, I think you’re going to find something rather potent here in Never Say Die. A bit odd that they would name the record after what I’d consider to be one of Sabbath’s lesser celebrated releases, but perhaps they thought that this is what it should have sounded like. Well, after hearing the album, I’d be inclined to agree. Check out this modern taste of proper rock music here at the link below.

(9 Tracks, 31:00)

8/10

Purchase HERE (Amazon)

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