Long time listeners of our podcast will remember that we interviewed Rose back on show #10 – so make an effort to listen to that so you can learn more about Rose and her musical journey so far. That interview was around the time that her ‘Time Is Now’ album came out – which was a wonderful release and trust me folks – that particular title track ‘Time Is Now’ will be stuck in your head for days – super super catchy. So obviously I was excited to get hold of this new release from Rose and it does not disappoint and it is easily gonna be in my top 5 releases for this year – that is for certain.
The EP opens with the song Into the Frey – which has a great riff that runs all through the song – I can see why they kicked off the EP with this as it’s so loud and gutsy. The bass line in this courtesy of Steve King – and gives it a little Screaming Jets type of flavour – catchy chorus – right out of the gate the intention is clear – this band mean business. Love it.
This line-up features some Australian rock n roll royalty – the aforementioned Steve King who was in Rose Tattoo for many years – from memory he’s also done time in the Pete Wells Band – Lucy DeSoto and the Handsome Devils and Bitzer – very very rock solid bass player. His rhythm partner on this release – and with a bunch of other outfits is Mick O’Shea. Mick’s rock n roll resume is as long as your arm – Judge Mercy, Dragon, Swanee, Thorpie, Ian Moss, Kevin Borich – he just filled the drum stool on the recent Richie Sambora/Orianthi tour and word is that Mick was damn close to filling Phil Rudd’s position on AC.DC’s Rock or bust tour. So what you have there is pretty much one of THE most potent rhythm sections treading the boards anywhere on the planet today – in my opinion. Mick Adkins – is an accomplished lead guitar player – and his sound is integral to the material on Battle Scars – Mick was of course in an outfit called the Rogue Sharks – their s/t album from 2007 is well worth searching out if you have not heard it. Rose Carleo – powerhouse songstress who has a knack of writing catchy songs – songs which make you feel good and ones which get stuck in your brain in the nicest possible way. More people need to be aware of her.
The title track on this EP – is classy with a capital C – and in a just world – should be the song which busts it wide open for Rose Carleo and her band – it’s really, really infectious and trust me folks – ten seconds in and you’re hooked. I love songs that start with lead guitar as this one does – I could reach for the thesaurus but big adjectives are not always required – it’s just great sounding rock n roll. The stuff which makes you feel good. Songs like this are ones which I always find myself turning up and singing along to – they remind me of why my love of music is so great. More people need to hear this.
Coat Tail is another song which rocks and rolls along – a little nod to the glitter band in there maybe – which to these ears sounds great.
There is a tune on here called Faded Tattoo – dedicated to the memory of Peter Wells and Mick Cocks – thumping bass guitar all the way through which really drives the song. It starts off slowly but veers quickly into what I’d call ‘blues laced rock n roll’ with searing lead guitar.
These songs are very well crafted and you can tell there’s been a lot of work put into this recording by Rose and her band. I like the production – but in saying that – I’m not one of those people who pour over the sound and mix of an album. If it sounds good – I crank the volume and that’s that – end of story. It’s rock n roll.
Battle Scars btw was engineered by Russell Pilling – and if you are a fan of the kinda guitar-fuelled rock n roll which we dig – I bet you’ve got something in your collection which Russell had a hand in…. He’s done stuff with a bunch of bands over the years – too many to go through but here are a few – Hoodoo Gurus, Radio Birdman, Roddy Ray’da, The Vines, Died Pretty, The Church, New Christs, Celibate Rifles, Asteroid B-612, the great album ‘In Heat’ by the Fools circa 1998 – he engineered that one – Pete Wells – 1991’s record Everything you Like Tries To kill You – produced of course by Kevin Shirley but engineered by Russell. He also did some work on the Kcrunch release from 1992 – my brother loved that band was always singing their praises – from memory Brian Mann and Mark Wilkinson were in that outfit – and finally – he engineered the killer 7” titled Chokito Bar – from Brother Brick released in Dog Meat in the early 90’s – that’s just some of the many artists he’s worked with – obviously an experienced engineer with an impressive resume – which this release can now be added to.
Last Day Alive – for me was the real surprise on the EP – and one which showcases just how raw and powerful Rose Carleo’s vocals are – ‘take it as you find it – say it like you mean it – love it like you own it – live it like your last day alive”. Indeed ! Love love love that.
Battle Scars is a stellar release which more people need to hear – one part country, one part heavy blues and one part loud pub rock. Feel-good rock n roll guaranteed to liven up the gloomiest of days. Rose Carleo and her band have come up trumps and I encourage you to purchase this as I know – if you’re a fan of our show – or just want a hit of some infectious rock n roll – this is gonna be right up your alley”. Buy now and thank me later