The Roughneck Riot – This Is Our Day
For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with this Warrington-based six piece, Roughneck Riot are one of the hardest working bands around, putting the hours in on the road to smash out their folk-punk assault in bedrooms, bars and bucket squats. Having racked up the miles, and a fearsome live reputation to boot, the question remains if this promising young bunch can live up to the high standards they’ve set for themselves.
The short answer is yes, and then some! The album blasts in with melodic punk anthem “Ignorance Is Easy”; packed to the gills with soaring backing vocals and tommy-gun riffs, it’s nothing less than a rabble-rousing call to arms that sets the tone nicely for what’s to come. Title track “This Is Our Day” decides to steamroller its way in next, evoking the essence of folk-punk as this bunch of scum-bags and wasters stake their very own claim to glory.
Although the band make ample use of the distorted guitars and crashing drums that you’ve come to know as blueprint stuff, via folk-punk stalwarts Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, what really gives Roughneck Riot their punk-rock edge is the sheer spirit that runs deep through the veins of TIOD, the inescapable feeling that they genuinely don’t give a shit what you think, that whether they play to ten people or ten thousand they’d still be screaming these words in our faces with equal fervour. It’s a spirit that gives this album freshness while offering that rowdy exhilaration you felt when first hearing folk tunes blasted out on punk instruments.
Getting the sound right on a folk-punk album is never an easy business either, with accordion, banjo and mandolin being thrown into the mix here. Although the melodic arrangements occasionally rely on Roughneck’s directness and sweltering energy, not one instrument overwhelms another and, to the band’s credit, each layer tends to weave and flow in a way that shows how well these young musicians know each other. Perhaps the best example of this intuitive playing is standout track “Down And Out”. Soaring from one peak to another, the track serves as a thrilling reminder why this UK band is truly something to get excited about.