WORDS: Tom Wakenell
German rock music isn’t something that is often spoken about outside of its native country. However with the release of Dead Man’s Voice, THE NEW ROSES will have opened themselves up to an entirely new audience.
The four-piece from Wiesbaden, Germany have released their second album Dead Man’s Voice, a powerful endeavour into 1980s rock revival. From the get-go, the record resonates with an 80s aura in a modernised fashion.
The opening track Heads or Tails is fast-paced and races off in a GUNS ‘N’ ROSES – Appetite For Destruction-esque way. It is remarkable how much force THE NEW ROSES pack from the beginning of the album, especially from the staccato guitar riff combined with the roaring vocals provided by Timmy Rough.
Following the stampede of Heads or Tails, Thirsty has more of an anthemic swagger about it. Slightly more laid back, it is a song you could envisage belting out of a car radio during a road trip.
Partner In Crime is the first track which sounds noticeably modern compared to the rest. The riffs are kept simple and combined with a syncopated, edgy drum beat, Partner In Crime leans towards newer radio rock as opposed to 80s rock. The reverberating, descending semi-tonal chord patten from the rhythm guitar in the solo section adds depth to the track, similar to the style of VELVET REVOLVER.
Title track Dead Man’s Voice is undeniably an ode to rock legends BON JOVI. From the clean guitar intro to the raspy, yet melodic vocals, it is evident that THE NEW ROSES has taken a spin on the iconic band’s music and implemented it into an outstanding track.
I Believe is in a very similar vein to rock newcomers WE ARE HARLOT in showing the continuing trend to bring an older style of rock with a heavier twist to a younger audience.
There is never a typically slow-ballad moment throughout Dead Man’s Voice, but Ride With Me is about as close as you can get to one. A song based on love, the passion can clearly be heard throughout the track and the lyrics are relatable. Hurt Me Once (Love Me Twice) opens with a bluesy riff and also remains strongly reminiscent of GUNS ‘N’ ROSES with a hint of AEROSMITH. It is hard to imagine that THE NEW ROSES have only been a band for a decade with how authentically retro they sound at times, but they have the formula down to a t.
Not From This World is a song with a sinister nature – think BLACK STONE CHERRY’s darker music. The track follows the 4/4 formula and along with dissonant chords and a fairly pedestrian guitar solo. It is mediocre at best, with subtle hints of metal titans METALLICA towards the end, which just about salvage Not From This World, however it is nothing too memorable.
The only other ‘ballad’ on this album is What If It Was You. This track is more sombre and it really sets the scene of lighters and phones being held up at a gig with a huge sing-along to accompany the performance.
Penultimate song Try (And You Know Why) shakes off the emotion from the previous track and welcomes the return of the relentless nature of THE NEW ROSES. Whilst having similarities to a STATUS QUO song – this ‘dad rock’ song is about as catchy as it gets. The chorus floats around in your head, just as if it was the song’s sole purpose. To finish Dead Man’s Voice is From Guns & Shovels, which starts off with just vocals and guitar, and then each instrument enters one by one to create a sludgy, biker rock song to conclude the album. From start to finish the song intensifies and proves to be a strong closer.
Dead Man’s Voice certainly breaks the mould and for the most part doesn’t feel like an emulation of 80s rock – it has its own unique voice and it is guaranteed to draw in rock fans from around the world.
Dead Man’s Voice is set for release on February 26th via Napalm Records.