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Dead City Ruins: Dead City Ruins

Quality hard rock with a good slice of the 70's and 80's, that's what you get with the Aussie group Dead City Ruins on their intriguing self-titled release. Dead City Ruins started out in London with a partly local line-up in 2007, though this version of the band didn't last and the Aussie component would eventually relocate to Melbourne, Australia. Dead City Ruins have since ventured back overseas and toured Europe with the likes of Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe.

To their new album and "Happenzella" starts out slow but Dead City Ruins soon boost that tempo, next I thought I was listening to the vocals of one Ozzy Osbourne on the upbeat grooving rocker "Til Death". "D.I.B" is just so catchy thanks to the compelling guitar work, Dead City Ruins deliver a spirited performance on "Shot Through". Dead City Ruins also includes a song called "Dio" which is a damn fine tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio with a classic potent feel, the riffs are firing and those lyrics do inspire thoughts of the works from the legendary vocalist. Dead City Ruins finish with a faithful cover of AC/DC's "Rock 'N' Roll Damnation" where vocalist Whitfield Crane(Ugly Kid Joe) makes an appearance.

Dead City Ruins isn't about to break new ground, this is a very satisfying gathering of fun tunes from the Aussie rockers.

Track listing:
1. Happenzella
2. Til Death
3. D.I.B.
4. Hurt
5. Shot Through
6. Blue Bastard
7. Broken Bones
8. Dio
9. Bloody Tools
10. Rock 'N' Roll Damnation

Added: March 16th 2015
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
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Language: english

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Dead City Ruins: Dead City Ruins
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-03-16 23:44:10
My Score:

Dead City Ruins formed in London in 2007. The unusual thing is they are not British but Australian. Australia has produced some fine rock bands over the years and Dead City Ruins continues the trend. They released their debut CD Midnight Killer in 2011 and have now returned with their self-titled sophomore effort.

In the band are Jake Wiffen (vocals), Thomas Cain (guitar), Sean Blanchard (guitar), Andrew Alkemade (drums) and Anthony Alkemade (bass).

The album is pure heavy rock and metal influenced by the likes of Mastodon, Black Sabbath and ACDC. The riffs are killer throughout, sometimes clean, sometimes fuzzy and generally pretty catchy. The rhythms section is rock solid giving these tunes a strong foundation upon which the guitars can weave their powerful riffs and ripping solos. Perhaps the strongest point, at least for me, are Wiffen's lead vocals. He has a strong set of pipes at times sounding like a younger version of Ozzy Osbourne.

The first tune "Happenzella" has an AC/DC feel with its fuzzy riffs and heavy rock and roll sound. A fiery guitar solo ends things in fine metal style. "Til' Death" opens with a massive guitar riff and more Ozzy inspired lead vocals. "D.I.B" is dark and menacing, the moody middle section filled with eerie sounds, background voices and subtle chugging guitar. "Hurt" is a heavy blues based rocker while "Shot Through" ups the tempo verging into punk rock territory. Crane's sustained vocal note at song's end is truly impressive.

One of my favourite tracks is "Dio", a fine tribute to the legendary singer. Crane's vocals are suitably passionate and the lyrics quite moving with lines like:

"You seen the stripes now you ride forever
Verses on the winds of time
From the elf to the edge of the rainbow
You left your mark on heaven and hell
Something came along and ripped you outta the world"

Another highlight is the almost ten minute "Bloody Tools". Moody guitar arpeggios and gentle cymbal taps soak over the listener but don't get too comfortable because the bone crushing riffs are just a moment away. This one features the powerful lead vocals of Ugly Kid Joe's Whitfield Crane. The occasional demonic vocal adds to the intensity.

The album ends with a fun cover of AC/DC's "Rock N Roll Damnation", serving to remind us where the band's roots truly lie.

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