Roughneck Riot – ‘Out Of Anger’

By Glen Bushell

Folk-punk is sometimes an all encompassing genre, where bands like Against Me! sometimes get classified as such because of their grass roots ethics, or Frank Turner because he plays folk music while coming from a punk background. Roughneck Riot however, classify themselves as folk-punk, and that they certainly are. If you took the folk element out of their music, they would be a punk band, and vice versa, because they blend the two genres together in fine form and have steadily created a reputation for themselves within the scene over the last 9 years. On their latest offering, ‘Out Of Anger’, the band show no signs in changing their sound, and once again serve up 14 perfectly crafted protest songs.

The album kicks of with the raucous ‘Animosity’ which sounds like Hot Water Music covering The Pogues, as front man Matty Humphries spits his battle cry over the combination of razor sharp riffs and rapid-fire banjo playing. This segues wonderfully into ‘Parasites’- which the band recently released a video for – that is full of politically charged lyrics such as “Trying their best to clear a nation’s debt, crimes against humanity slip right through the net”, and delivered with complete sincerity. Roughneck Riot make no secret of their anti-establishment leanings throughout the narrative of the record, particularly with the punk rock fury of ‘England’s Desperate Liars’ and ‘This Green, Unpleasant Land’ which should be enough to get anyone out from behind their computer screen and fight for something they believe in.

Where ‘Out Of Anger’ slightly falls a little short is the similarity in the songs. Roughneck Riot found a formula that clearly works for them with their particular brand of folk-punk, but this has been applied to almost every track here, which at times can seem a little derivative of itself. That said though, some of the finer moments come in the latter part of the album, with the rabble-rousing ‘The Last Of Us’ being a particular highlight, as well as album closer ‘He Never Came Home’ which is an anthem song in the making, and delivered with the utmost conviction. It is these high points of ‘Out Of Anger’, that even when the songs do begin to sound a bit too familiar from the last, they are saved by the angst and honesty of the lyrical content.

It is easy for anyone to claim punk nowadays, and pick up a guitar and rally against ‘the man’, but upon hearing ‘Out Of Anger’ that is not the impression you get from Roughneck Riot. It is an enjoyable and relatable listen, filled with honesty and urgency, and it is from in the lyrics that the highlight of this album shines. They are carried out from the punchy hooks and imprinted in your mind, making you think about the world around you, which is a true testament to the bands writing ability. We now live in a time filled with political disarray and uncertainty, and when Roughneck Riot cab provide a voice where others may be silent, we need them more than they probably know.


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