Roadkill – God Bless America (2007, independent release)
Get Outta My Way
Day After Day
Living In Hell
God Bless America
Last Man Standing
D.F.W.M. (Don’t Fuck With Me)
Neil Steel – Vocals
Zig – Guitars
Craig Shepherd – Bass
Keith Kenny – Drums
Brett Collidge – Vocals
Tanya Cook – Vocals
Produced by: Roadkill & Brett Collidge
Total Time – 42:32
Roadkill is out to prove that Hard Rock is not dead in Australia with their debut Album, GOD BLESS AMERICA. Well, they’re right! Hard Rock is not dead in Australia, it’s thriving! A couple of years ago, Jet hit U.S. shores with a Top 40 debut and now Airbourne has taken the Metal world by storm by offering what AC/DC and Rose Tattoo should be. So where does Roadkill fit in? After giving this CD serious spins, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are way behind their contemporaries in Airbourne and they need to improve dramatically.
There are problems with this album:
First is the songwriting, I’ve heard it all before. Basically, if you bought a half-dozen Hard Rock albums in the ’80s then you’ve heard all the Rock cliches, and Roadkill uses them everywhere. Listeners are smarter than that today.
Second, the production is terrible. The bass is barely audible on most tracks, the guitar tone weaves in and out and it’s hard to discern where solos begin, and the drums crash right in front most of the time. If the bass and drums had a better mix, the songs would improve drastically. The vocals get the worst treatment. Neil Steel obviously puts his guts into the performance but he gets killed by being way up front in the mix. He just sounds like a big monotone mess on most songs.
Third is the vocals. There are some range/power problems for Steel. There are times when you think he’s going to hit that high note and take the song up a notch but he goes the safe route and keeps it all level. That’s a minor problem though. There are famous frontmen in the Rock world that lack range but they have the power to make that song go. It’s very possible that I’m not happy with the vocals due to the production.
I can see where the band is going with the music, there is some promise in certain songs and it all has an ’80s Sunset Strip vibe to it. The problem is that kind of music comes off dated when it’s not done with a more contemporary feel and I wonder if the guys have what it takes to improve and tighten up. Then they need to find another producer and let him produce, the band needs to be led in the studio and not have a hand co-producing.
Average Hard Rock from an Australian bar band. Production is bad and the band needs to tighten their sound and write better songs. Neil Steel needs to expand his vocal abilities rather than play it safe. There is potential but this is more like a rough demo than a real album. Favorite song: ‘Hollywood’ (maybe).