The Rocket Dolls – DeadHead
Release Date: 06/04/2018
Running time: 44:00
Review by Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond
The Rocket Dolls are a trio of old rock hands hailing from the thriving seaside town of Brighton; they have been around since 2008 and I can’t believe that I’d never heard of them before I received this album, their second, for review. In a way, that’s always a good thing, as it means there are no preconceptions to constrain a review. “Deadhead” features eleven tracks over nearly 45 minutes of listening time and was produced and mixed by Mark Roberts (Black Peaks, Dorje).
Opening gambit, ‘None Of This Is Right’ had some interesting effects with a impudent lick and some nice vocals, with a headbangingly heavy finish. I was cautiously optimistic about the rest of the songs after listening to this one.
‘She’s Starting Something Now’ featured a heavy intro, which whisked the listener into a harmony laden, soaring, repetitive refrain with earworm lyrics and some cheeky screams at the end. It was at this point that I started to relax; this was an album that I could enjoy whilst reviewing, rather than the pain of having to merely endure it. That, in itself, is worthy of a half decent review …
The title track featured booming drums, vocal harmonies worthy of Corey Taylor and a dirty little bridge to the chorus. It was impossible to sit still whilst it was playing, too. ‘She Said’ started with a punky, formulaic riff and continued with a poppy feel. Not one of my favourite tracks, but I appreciated the sentiment behind the lyrics.
I enjoyed the whole album, but the best of the rest were the vaguely orchestral and rather beautiful, ‘The Last Thing on My Mind’, the dark ‘Drowning’ and the pacey ‘Strain’. Anyone who has read any of my previous reviews will know that I like my rock dirty and I particularly enjoyed ‘Rusty Bones’, for the seedy riff.
This album gave a really good insight into what this band are about musically and frontman Nikki Smash really opened up with strong themes around his battle with addiction, depression and mental health issues. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the songs are downers, though. The Rocket Dolls have taken some pretty heavy subjects and created a heavy, dark yet uplifting collection of songs. I found it pretty exciting to listen to; it reminded me of all sorts of influences, from Stonesour to Apocalyptica, from Alice in Chains to Theory Of A Deadman; they may not be breaking boundaries as such, but “Deadhead” stands, if not head and shoulders above the competition, then it’s got to be at least a few inches and that is enough to get you noticed and pulled out of the fast flowing stream of dirge that can sometimes demoralise a reviewer.
I’m gutted I missed the tour, but I will definitely catch TRD next time around.
01. None Of This Is Right
02. She’s Starting Something Now
04. She Said
05. The Last Thing On My Mind
06. Stop The Dead Men Crying
08. The Desperate
10. Rusty Bones
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.