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Riverdogs - 'World Gone Mad' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/67/a4/b6/1516_RiverdogsWorldGoneMad_1314641147.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 29, 2011    
 
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Classy, adult, melodic rock.

'World Gone Mad' is an apt title for the Riverdogs' return to CD, because in a sane world the band would be a lot more successful than they have been. Some of the songs here are re-recorded versions of demos the band recorded when they got back together in 2003 to play a few reunion gigs. Approached by Melodic Rock Records to release the songs, the band agreed and went back into the studio in New York to spruce up the demos and include a couple of newly written tracks.

There's no shortage of talent on offer; Def Leppard's guitarist Vivian Campbell probably the biggest household name here, but singer Rob Lamothe is the real star here as he gives the band a sound, unique and separate from the rock crowd. His voice, for a rock singer, is slightly left-field; soulful with a touch of introspective melancholy and his lyrics sound fresh, in a genre that is often dumbed down by a reliance on clichés. His rhyming of "Al-Qaeda" with "MacGyver" on the title track is typical of his invention.

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While the songs have the unmistakable stamp of Lamothe's song writing on them, it's a different animal than his solo material, because the band lift the songs to a new level, adding further musicianship and muscle to give the record a real band sound. I love Campbell's playing on this album. He's rarely flash; instead everything he does compliments Lamothe's voice and the mood of the songs. The title track and 'For You' both have stellar solo passages. 'Best Day Of My Life' has a radio friendly sheen with Lamothe's plaintive voice giving the song an added dimension. His aching vocals also work a treat on the unrequited love song 'This Empty Room' while 'Glitter Town', a tale of ill-considered instant gratification, allows the band to really rock out. A live cover of Badfinger's 'No Matter What', from a reunion gig in 2004, rounds off the CD. It's an interesting choice of cover as its Beatles' vibe shows you that the Riverdogs' roots reach further than the usual rock bands of Zep etc.

With only eight songs, including the live cover it's a few songs short of a full album, leaving you wanting a bit more but what is here is the classy, adult, melodic rock you would anticipate from the band.

Duncan Jamieson

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Review By Woody

I took a punt on this album even though I was unaware of the band’s sound based on the cult popularity of the band’s 1990 debut album and the fact that their guitarist is Def Leppard alumni Vivian Campbell. I think this is the original line-up too bar drummer Marc Danzeisen who joins Vivian Campbell (Guitars), Rob Lamothe (Vocals) & Nick Brophy (Bass).

World Gone Mad went straight over my head and I found very little to recommend about it. I’m not sure if this is the original sound of the band or what they have developed into, but it lacked any hooks or choruses that made me want to re-listen to it. I’d say the nearest thing to compare it to is Americanised modern melodic rock of the 90’s and early 00’s akin to Matchbox 20, Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls but with maybe a dash of Train.

There is a few Def Leppard-isms to the guitar playing, but it’s nothing like the Lep’s if that makes sense. I’m not sure what the band was trying to achieve with this album, maybe fitting their style to a modern audience? I feel perhaps a retro album may have benefitted them more. I also have to say some of Rob’s occasional rap style singing was a total turn off, which I suppose didn’t help the songs grab me.

Only two songs on the album are really worth mentioning in my opinion. ‘Just A Little Higher’ is an acoustic driven ballad is without a doubt the stand out track with a nice Americana feel and memorable chorus. The other track is ‘Glitter Town’ which is an upbeat Americana tune.

It seems that the best records to check out on Melodic Rock Records are those with no ties to the past as a lot of the albums on the label that do have left me disappointed, although this is bar far the worst. It’s also a real shame that the bands with no ties to the past are probably the smallest selling when there are outstanding slices of modern rock with a modern slant. The albums from Fenrik Lane, Degreed and the amazing All I Know are not just solid albums but are also thoroughly enjoyable. Do yourself a favour and pick up an album by one of the above bands rather than this, because to be honest I can only see die hard Riverdogs fans liking World Gone Mad.

Track Listing: World Gone Mad / Big Steel Town / Best Day Of My Life / Just A Little Higher / For You / This Empty Room / Glitter Town / No Matter What (Live)

Album Rating: 3/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Just A Little Higher
Reviewed by Woody March 06, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (31)

Riverdogs - World Gone Mad

Review By Woody

I took a punt on this album even though I was unaware of the band’s sound based on the cult popularity of the band’s 1990 debut album and the fact that their guitarist is Def Leppard alumni Vivian Campbell. I think this is the original line-up too bar drummer Marc Danzeisen who joins Vivian Campbell (Guitars), Rob Lamothe (Vocals) & Nick Brophy (Bass).

World Gone Mad went straight over my head and I found very little to recommend about it. I’m not sure if this is the original sound of the band or what they have developed into, but it lacked any hooks or choruses that made me want to re-listen to it. I’d say the nearest thing to compare it to is Americanised modern melodic rock of the 90’s and early 00’s akin to Matchbox 20, Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls but with maybe a dash of Train.

There is a few Def Leppard-isms to the guitar playing, but it’s nothing like the Lep’s if that makes sense. I’m not sure what the band was trying to achieve with this album, maybe fitting their style to a modern audience? I feel perhaps a retro album may have benefitted them more. I also have to say some of Rob’s occasional rap style singing was a total turn off, which I suppose didn’t help the songs grab me.

Only two songs on the album are really worth mentioning in my opinion. ‘Just A Little Higher’ is an acoustic driven ballad is without a doubt the stand out track with a nice Americana feel and memorable chorus. The other track is ‘Glitter Town’ which is an upbeat Americana tune.

It seems that the best records to check out on Melodic Rock Records are those with no ties to the past as a lot of the albums on the label that do have left me disappointed, although this is bar far the worst. It’s also a real shame that the bands with no ties to the past are probably the smallest selling when there are outstanding slices of modern rock with a modern slant. The albums from Fenrik Lane, Degreed and the amazing All I Know are not just solid albums but are also thoroughly enjoyable. Do yourself a favour and pick up an album by one of the above bands rather than this, because to be honest I can only see die hard Riverdogs fans liking World Gone Mad.

Track Listing: World Gone Mad / Big Steel Town / Best Day Of My Life / Just A Little Higher / For You / This Empty Room / Glitter Town / No Matter What (Live)

Album Rating: 3/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Just A Little Higher

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