Sometimes a band needs over twenty years to release a superb, groundshaking album and that is what happened with the latest achievement of the Boston rocking ensemble, Roadsaw. Perhaps it comes from the magic that happens when a band names an album after itself, I don’t know, but in their 18-year-long career, they could produce several bigger waves with albums such as Rawk N’ Roll and See You in Hell. Signing for Small Stone Records apparently revived the band.
That production really makes a difference and Roadsaw is the best indicator for it. Lending his production skills, Sean Slade (who also worked with Radiohead and Dinosaur Jr.), together with Benny Grotto (Mad Oak studio) seals Roadsaw’s heftiest record out to date. Ian Ross, taking a lead throughout the album’s entirety with his outstanding guitar work, is not the only who enters the competition for winning a prize. On a side, the vocalist Craig Riggs absolutely crystallizes this album with his sometimes sensitive, sometimes rough voice.
There are few interesting details concerning this album and Lo-Pan’s latest achievement called Salvador (see review here). Namely, both of these two records appeared in 2011, both of them are released on Small Stone Records, both bands (albums) enjoy highly prolific stoner/riff rock and these are some of the facts that create a bond between these two recordings. Now, it’s not a smart decision to compare albums of two different bands, which as far as I know are not in any significant relationship besides being on the same label, but I couldn’t resist to set few parallels between these particular albums. At least, get the albums and find out for yourself.
Like Lo-Pan’s Salvador, Roadsaw’s self-titled presents an overwhelming soundscape, filled with energy at every turn. These guys do not calculate a lot, from the opening Dead and Buried to the closing The Thrill is Waiting, Roadsaw serves uncompromising melodic riff-led rock. The cliché formula of a classic rock approach is skillfully avoided, the songs come in a line without any feeling of fatigue, and everything goes smoothly. The album is heavily spiced by 70’s hard rock, but still sounds very fresh and modern. What appears to be one of the highlights of the recording is its radio friendliness.
2011 should certainly bring a good profit to Small Stone Records. Having three of several more albums released up to now that I have heard, reviewed and, more importantly, enjoyed (Lo-Pan’s Salvador, Tia Carrera’s Cosmic Priestess and Roadsaw’s self-titled) the label is living a golden moment in their 15 years long existence. Concerning Roadsaw, they showed that even with almost two decades in the business they can come back around and create something amazing. Hopefully, we will not wait another 18 years to hear more of Roadsaw’s magic.
01. Dead and Buried
02. Weight in Cold
03. Thinking of Me
04. Long in the Tooth
05. So Low Down
06. The Getaway
07. Motel Shoot Out
08. The Thrill is Waiting