Published on May 23rd, 2018 | by Justin G.
Dead City Ruins: Never Say Die (AFM)
Australian rockers Dead City Ruins have a new album out, titled Never Say Die. It’s their third full-length release, and their first since catching the AFM label’s attention. If you couldn’t tell from the cover artwork, where a very ‘70s looking crew is framed by a “worn LP sleeve” design, Dead City Ruins’ style is firmly rooted in the classic rock n’ roll sound.
The title Never Say Die isn’t this album’s only nod to the vintage Black Sabbath sound. Dead City Ruins, like a number of other retro-minded bands (think Graveyard and Kadavar) to emerge in recent years, draws obvious inspiration from Sabbath’s heavy riffing, steady grooves and wailing vocals. It’s not full-on stoner rock though, as there are also nods to Led Zeppelin’s bluesier hard rock, and singer Jake Wiffen sounds eerily similar to late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell.
Never Say Die may not be the most original album around, but that’s kind of the point. It satisfies on that old school heavy rock level, and simply by being a really enjoyable rock n’ roll album. “Devil Man,” “Dirty Water,” the very Soundgarden-sounding “Rust & Ruin” and “Lake of Fire” are highlights, but all nine tracks are rock solid.
The pool may be crowded, but Dead City Ruins deserves to make a big splash with this album. It’s one of the better retro rock albums to come out in recent years, and is exactly the kind of album you point people to when they say rock is dead. Fans of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Soundgarden should find a lot to like here, and fans of newer bands like Rival Sons, Graveyard, Greta Van Fleet, Scorpion Child and Kadavar ought to give Never Say Die a spin as well.
Summary: Heavy rock like they used to make it