Fireworks

Riff Raff - 'Leaving D.C.' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/54/c8/f7/3075_riffraffleavingdc_1356225665.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 23, 2012    
 
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A  highly credible first effort.

There’s no prize for guessing that this outfit started out life as an AC/DC tribute band. Riff Raff have plied their trade for the last 15 years as one of Germany’s premier tribute acts gigging all over Europe, sharing the stage with established acts such as Motörhead, Bonfire and even Slipknot. Although this is the bands second release of original material – their first being ‘Eat The Beat’ back in 2004 – this is the first time they’ve attempted to move out of the shadows of the Aussie rock giants and forge their own path in the rock n’ roll universe, hence the title ‘Leaving D.C.’

Sure there are some AC/DC ringers in here such as such as ‘Give’m Rhythm’ and I’m Not The One’ but these, I’m happy to say, are very much in the minority. What Riff Raff have taken from their idols from Down Under is an efficient and effective use of chords and riffs, where the adage less is more definitely applies, and a good old fashioned four-to-the-floor rhythm section. To this they’ve added more in the way of guitar pyrotechnics, particularly in the lead breaks and solos, as well as some southern rock flavours and a bit of sass and swagger to create an album that’s fill to bursting with high energy blues influenced rock n’ roll.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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‘Set Me Off’ is a blistering opener and gets the album off to a fine start, closely followed by ‘Hail The Rockin’ Man’, a real anthemic driving blues rocker. ‘Liar’, with its big sing-a-long chorus, has all the makings an arena filling, lighters in the air ballad, where vocalist Steve Betteridge adds some southern drawl to great effect. Although Betteridge does lapse into Brian Johnson parody on occasion when screeching some of the high notes, he possessed a much better voice and range than Newcastle’s favourite son. Its mid album that Riff Raff really show us what they’re made of. ‘Good Times – Bad Times’ (no not that one!) with its ringing guitar intro (that reminded me a little of Don Henley’s ‘Boys Of Summer’) and jangling almost funky guitar motif – which recurs at various points through the song – together with a faster paced mid section show a good grasp of song craft and rock dynamics that bode well for the future. As does ‘Miracle Man’, its more complex riff structure, down and dirty groove and slower mid section - featuring a simply stunning display of guitar harmonics and vibrato - has future classic written all over it! You also have high energy rockers like ‘Rev Up – Ride On’ and ‘Dance Or Die’ that use the AC/DC template in the same way as the likes of Airbourne and ‘We’re Only Here For The Beer’ is a drinking song par excellence that’s sure to be a real festival favourite.

This is a highly credible first effort that will be enjoyed not only by AC/DC fans but anyone who likes good old fashioned grit in their rock n’ roll.

Alister Strachan

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