It takes around seventy seconds for Italian punks The Roozalepres to confirm their excellence. Once you’ve heard the chorus of the opening trck of this superb self titled rekkid, Rough ‘N’ Roll Roozze ‘Em All for the first time, you’ll have all the proof you need that these rascals are the real deal. Their tight-but-loose take on the garage rock format is a joy to behold, with the only drawback to this album being the fact that it’s only thirty three minutes long…
Vocalist Decomposed Sam has a classic set of punk rock pipes, and the band have come up with a dozen absolute pearlers for him to prove that fact time and again. Come And Go adds a little Motörhead to the mix via the gift of some superb wah-wah soloing (maybe from Sam, or perhaps his guitar partner Toty – bourgeois concepts like guitar solos aren’t credited on my review copy of the album), whilst bassist Frah gets in on the act with a catchy intro riff to Whose Fault Is It. In fact her melodic bass playing is a real highlight throughout the record.
Sam has a classic, debauched rock n’roll edge to his vocals that all the great punk singers have – Whose Fault Is It is delivered with a real William Broad curl of the lip mixed with a slightly deranged Jello Biafra roar that is nigh on unbeatable, and the low slung punk riffage makes this track the band’s best on this album. Anti You ups the rockabilly quotient a bit – it just needs a bit of stand up bass to really top things off – whilst Alien Television Show is deliciously louche, with ragged guitars propped up by some propulsive percussion from Gaggia.
Fans of The Hives will recognize the voodoo charm of Black Magic Killer, whilst the superb melodicism of Frankenstein Heart, which sounds like something The Lurkers might have come up with in the late seventies is going to be a regular on the Stronge stereo for a long time to come.
Ridin’ Cosmos is a throwaway seventy four second punk blast, but the stomping Mean Mean World has a lot more substance to it; built again on a sturdy Gaggia designed framework it’s serpentine riffs writhe around another assured vocal. This is quality stuff and no mistake.
The last couple of tracks, Coffin Nails and Tiger Fangs, keep up the momentum and round out the album in rousing fahion, the result of which is one of the most straight-up fun and listenable albums you’ll hear all year!
The Roozalepres is out now.