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| 3 May 2018 | Reply

April 2018
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

The cherry high of a first listen to Rose Carleo Band’s debut EP (Rose has three studio albums under her belt as a solo artist) imparts the same tingles and chills as that first excited listen to Baby Animals’ debut, Appetite For Destruction or Van Hagar’s 5150 – it’s the realisation that there’s a bold, vibrant voice and a band on fire, both at their peak – and there ain’t no-one doing this as well, anywhere.

Carleo’s vocals have never sounded so good – full of Earth Mother warmth and love, they’re enveloping as a syrup blanket coating the eardrums – and at last now she has a world class band worthy of her considerable talent.

Guitarist (and husband) Mick Adkins guitar work meshes perfectly with Carleo’s, and drummer Mick O’Shea and bass legend Steve King are incomparable, making this outfit more even than the sum of its impressive parts.

Each of the five tracks here – Into The Fray, personal favourite Faded Tattoo, Battle Scars, Coat Tail Rider with it’s right-on ‘70s Glitter Band intro and hair shakin’ boogie stomp, and Last Day Alive – are raunchy, immediate, catchy, tailor-made for arena stages, and dynamic.

Carleo has the quintessential je ne sais quoi: her songs of heartbreak and betrayal are relentlessly upbeat, uplifting, and encouraging, rather than wallowing, making this an EP of hard-fought triumph over those who would hold us back or step us down. This is the blues, Oz Rock style, with a production that could – should, in a fairer world – make this a global breakout hit.

To spell it out, Battle Scars is the best rock and roll release of the year thus far, bar none. That they aren’t back by a serious record label and touring the world is a shameful indictment of the Australian music industry.


Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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