Swedes The Royal Beggars would like to be Brit guttersnipes the Dogs D’Amour so much that they’ve even enlisted Dogs frontman and doyen of the barstool balladeers Tyla to provide artwork for this, their second EP of rhythm n’booze tearjerkers. You might as well work with the best if ya want to be the best, after all…
There’s a big risk in that sort of association, of course, with people simply assuming that TRB might just be mini-Dogs – sleaze puppies, if you will – but luckily the band shows that it has more than enough of it’s own style on superb tracks like Wasted n’ Wanted to be able to stand on their own eight feet and rock up a storm in their own right.
Australian readers might detect a faint similarity between the ‘Beggars and their own Hell City Glamours, especially on the woozy rocker Lonely Dead Red Rose – and they’d be right, and of course you’ll not find anyone at Sentinel Daily complaining about that. Overall, however, The Royal Beggars are slightly less ragged – Jonas Heimdahl is a ruthlessly efficient lead guitarist with little time for ramshackle ‘authenticity’ on the evidence of his work throughout Wounded Hearts… – but no less lovable for all that, especially on the record’s fabulous high point, Broken Heart of Glass, wherein they mash together names you’ll be familiar with, like Casino Steel, two sets of dogs (Diamond and, of course, D’Amour) and Hanoi Rocks in a heart-bleedingly fine melange that scores high on sincerity if not originality.
But hey, this is stripped back rock n’roll, and that train left forty years ago so who’s gonna quibble about a little overuse of stylistic convention every now and then? Not me, that’s for sure. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to find my pin-striped suit and polka-dotted shirt in order to properly enjoy this little pearler of an EP… See yas all at the bar!
Wounded Hearts N’Bloodstained Souls is out now.