Damn this is good….real good. If this isn’t the best Australian release of the year then I’d like to know what is.
Is it necessary to introduce the man ? OK, for the benefit of the few who weren’t listening the first time around. Rilen formed the seminal Australian rock ‘n’ roll beast that be Rose Tattoo, created new visions in boogie punk with X, and has since been with Sardine V, the truly wonderful Hell To Pay and over recent years has carved out a niche for himself with his own outfit, Skindiver. Like his tattooed brother-in-arms Pete Wells, Rilen is the real deal. He creates real rock ‘n’ roll, soaked in beer, sweat, and a lifetime of rock ‘n’ roll memories that a thousand pretentious Axl Rose wannabe’s could only dream of. Don’t expect the blistering heavy boogie of the Tatts though. Uh uh. Take it down a few notches and feel the low-down cool of a man who has lived the life, and has the scars to prove it. New versions of ‘401’ and ‘Booze To Blame’ swagger along with intent, guided by Rilen’s liquor scarred throaty vocal delivery. ‘Letter’ a simple, low-down guitar ditty is hard to beat, as is the authentic delivery of ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Man’, self-expression if ever there was. ‘It’s OK’ with it’s simple three chord shuffle and likeable low-down melody comes close to being the album’s personal pick, yet that plaudit goes to ‘Deep Sea Floor’, a stark and emotive plea, stripped back, with Rilen’s deep voice shining through on a song thats brilliance relies entirely on it’s uncomplicated charm and easy drifting melody. Songs of love, broken hearts, booze and rock ‘n’ roll, Rilen has come up trumps. My god was, is and always shall be Johnny Thunders, a guy whose authenticity, originality, and sincerity put him in a class that few come close to. Those three same qualities you will find in Ian Rilen. In my humble opinion, Love is Murder is the Australian album of the year. Buy some bona fide rock ‘n’ roll spirit today, an enriching listening experience.
(Archive Source: Cat Scratch Fever/Vicious Kitten Records Newsletter Issue 6: Jan 2001)