Album review: TONK – Ruby Voodoo

MelodicRock Records [Release date 09.03.15]

The first thing that hit me about Tonk is that how awful their name is! I remember Tonka toys…but Tonk…well according to Urban dictionary it is US customs slang for an illegal immigrant…

Sorry we digress…”Ruby Voodoo” is the second album from these Canberra based Australian lads…debut “Sister Switchblade” was released way back in 2007.

The PR describes “Ruby Voodoo” as “a fantastic old-school hard rock record” and this description is actually not too far off the mark for a change but maybe we’ll leave out the “fantastic”. The band consists of Jinks, Steve, Ben, Matt and Mikey…who does what I haven’t got a clue…but then again…thanks to their Facebook pages we can assign them to vocals, guitars, guitars, bass and drums respectively…still no surnames though.

None of the songs featured on here really stands out from the crowd but then again only one fails to reach the standard of the rest. Opener Pleasure and Pain starts things as they mean to go on with a blend of classic Y&T and Van Halen. Voodoo reminds me of The Rainmakers during the verses before the Georgia Satellites kick in for the chorus.

Both Last Goodbye and 9 Lives can have their roots traced back to classic UFO with the former being a slow burning rock ballad and the latter a true bluesy rocker.

The one track that lets things down is Scene Queen…there is no proper tune or memorable chorus…should have been left as a b-side.

“Ruby Voodoo” deserves to be played loud…lots of riffing, authentic raw emotive vocals and a great production from Nick Didia.

If you like Wolfsbane, Wolfmother, Screaming Jets, early Guns N’ Roses or any of the aforementioned bands you will find something to appreciate here.

One of MelodicRock Records better releases of late….still a crap name though…  ***½

Review by Phil Berisford

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