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Rose Tattoo - 2007 Blood Brothers

ARTIST: Rose Tattoo
ALBUM: Blood Brothers
LABEL: Armageddon Music
SERIAL: AMG 059-2 4046661 049527
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Angry Anderson - vocals * Mick Cocks - guitars * Dai Pritchard - slide guitars * Steve King - bass * Paul DeMarco - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Black Eyed Bruiser * 02 Slipping Away * 03 One In A Lifetime * 04 1854 * 05 City Blues * 06 Sweet Meat * 07 Man About Town * 08 Creeper * 09 Stand Over Man * 10 Nothing To Lose * 11 Lubricated



I've never been a big follower of Aussie rockers Rose Tattoo in the past. They sort of flew past my radar without too much notice. Perhaps the whiff of whiskey and beer as they flew past put me off the scent. Who's to know. Anyway, much to my surprise, I have since re-discovered this band, and in true trans-tasman rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, I will admit that these guys - even now as we venture well beyond the 21st century mark, are a very very good outfit - something I'm not that good at saying about our Antipodean cousins. The Tatt's continued focus on a bluesy style of rock and roll means familiarity, and no unnecessary attempt to reinvent themselves, as I mentioned with the latest Threshold 'Dead Reckoning' review. Their 2002 alum 'Pain' received a ten-out-of-ten from GDAZE's 'dangerzone', and it was on the back of that review that my interest was tweaked. Just to ensure that the band have not slipped off the map, they return five years later with 'Blood Brothers', albeit without one of their longtime personnel.. guitarist Pete Wells, who passed away in March 2006. Wells said to the band before he passed on, that they must continue playing. Without that endorsement, the Tatt's would surely have folded, considering that the band was formed by Wells back in 1976. Notwithstanding, the band also lost another past member during 2006: drummer Dallas 'Digger' Royal who played on their first two albums. So all in all, 2006 was not a good year for them, to offset it though, the band signed with German label Armageddon Music' - hence this album.

The Songs
There's a bit of history to be had with 'Blood Brothers'. The lead off track 'Black Eyed Bruiser' will be well known to fans of 70's Aussie rock, as it was a single and album of former Easybeats member Stevie Wright back in 1974. You gotta admire the boys for their smokin' approach to 'Once In A Lifetime', which is a tribute to their former bandmates. Keeping the history lesson intact, is the tale of '1854', retelling the story of the Eureka Stockade Rebellion which happened in Nov 1854. It was the only armed rebellion in Australian history. The Tatt's take the foot off the pedal with the slow burning blues of 'City Blues', a song about youth and suburban depression. 'Man About Town' is a bruising swagger, typical of the protagonist in the lyrics. Those of you who enjoy Southern rock bands from the 70's/80's era may get a kick out of the track 'Creeper', though the lyrics touches on the seedy side of life. As does the next track, the tale of a brute of an individual is told in 'Stand Over Man', perhaps in tribute to the Gangland type characters that are prevalent throughout the city of Melbourne. 'Nothing To Lose' is a close relative to fellow Aussies AC/DC, while the closer 'Lubricated' is a real bar-room rouser - guaranteed to get the feet stomping. Hard to know if this song is about drinking, massages or sex. Perhaps all three? lol!

In Summary
Rose Tattoo are on tour in Europe at the moment, and will be gigging with Saxon at some points along the way. They also return to Australia where they are billed with Guns N Roses. Apparently Guns N Roses are playing a one-off gig at the new Vector Arena in Auckland during June. Why bother? Skip Axel and his rag-tag bunch of drug-addled boozers and get in Angry Anderson and his mob to headline instead. That would be a gig worth watching indeed - if the material on 'Blood Brothers' is anything to go by. Now all I have to do is back-collect all of the Tattoo albums and I will be a happy man.

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