Album review: DEAD CITY RUINS – Never Say Die


AFM Records [Release date 13.04.18]

Now here’s something of a novelty, a rock band from Australia who actually don’t sound like AC/DC – meet Dead City Ruins from Melbourne and their third offering Never Say Die.

Built on very solid riffage and the monster vocals of lead throat Jake Wiffen, Dead City Ruins are pouring everything – body, soul and every last dollar – into breaking out of Australia and achieving significance in a very crowded marketplace.

Certainly the PR function of the band has done a great job of getting them exposed as the band can so far claim support slots to the likes of Skid Row, Ugly Kid Joe, Fozzy, Orange Goblin, Wolfmother and Mastodon.

Often straddled somewhere between Glenn Hughes/BCC and Budgie on the riffmeter, stand-out tracks include the excellent, heavy-blues lament “Rust and Ruin” and the full-on “We Are One” which features a rolling Maiden-esque mish mash and a chorus ready-made for when and if they get to playing arenas.

“Devil Man” immediately signals the band’s furious intent to ruffle rock’s feathers with a nice tip of the hat to Thin Lizy’s twin guitar assault in the solo. A gorgeous rumbling bass kicks off “Bones” where Black Stone Cherry meets Monster Truck and ask Nickelback to kick in with the chorus.

You can’t help notice the similarity with Ozzy’s trademark nasal whine on the likes of “Rust and Ruin”, “Dirty Water” and “The River Song” (hell, check out the tassles on Wiffen’s sleeve

in the promo video for “Bones” – Sharon could have picked that shirt out of a thrift store in the ‘90s).

The album is a bit of a slow burn and does dip a bit in parts before the band goes for the epic album closer “Lake of Fire” with some success I have to say….feeling initially a bit like a Dio-era Rainbow track before crashing to thunderous coda – belting track this one.

There is all the thrusting power and in-yer-face energy that you’d expect from a bunch of hard-touring and harder-drinking Aussie’s who tour in a bus called the “Blue Bastard” – there isn’t a song about that on the album but if it pulls up in your town, tie down any loose belongings and prepare to have your ear wax re-arranged.  ***1/2

Review by Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw

On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)

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