DOOMSDAY OUTLAW – Hard Times [Japanese Edition +1] (2018)
British rockers DOOMSDAY OUTLAW self-released their last CD two years ago, but now have signed a multi-album deal with Frontiers Music. The band’s first album with them, “Hard Times“, will a appear at the end of the week, and this Japanese edition, tomorrow.
“Hard Times” it’s a brave, bold record. One that makes no bones about the fact it is aiming big. That is not to say that there is anything contrived about it, rather it is just what great bands used to do. They refined, they got better with confidence, and they rock hard.
The first two CD showed potential and growth as their sound crossed genres; a bit of classic hard rock and a bit blues melded into a heavy and melodic whole.
This new album for a major label is polished and professional, as demonstrated by the opener and title track. It is a Zeppelinesque riff and Phil Poole uses the full range of his powerful voice and wraps it around the guitar phrases nicely before we get the subtle bridge to lead us into a chord-driven solo, which is groovy and bluesy.
‘Over and Over’ sums up this band for me: it demonstrates all that is great with each member. Great riff, a cowbell, nice harmony vocals and guitar solos of quality, all served up in a 3,5-minute blast.
‘Into the Light’ quietens things down dramatically with a piano intro and Phil’s soulful vocal riding across some strings; this is the kind of thing Coverdale used to give light and shade to his earlier work. No guitars, no histrionics just a great vocal performance.
‘Bring It On Home’ wakes us up again with some Thunder on it, then ‘Days Since I Saw the Sun’ is pure melodic hard rock and a melody that reminds me of Burning Rain.
‘Will You Wait’ is a slow burning starter before an almost operatic, heavy section, then back to slow and then back to rock via a twisted shift in time signature.
‘Break You’ is a funky treat, while ‘Too Far Left To Fall’ closes the album with the best of the bunch. A classy blues-drenched, heavy rocker.
The Japanese bonus track is ‘Days Since I Saw the Sun (Acoustic Version)’, a stripped, cool version of this melodic rocker and showcasing the band can play unplugged as well.
Doomsday Outlaw is a really good band that deserves – and with Frontiers – should get more exposure. It’s classic hard rock, blues based, in the traditional sense of this timeless subgenre.
“Hard Times” is packed with some brilliant tracks in this vein, think Whitesnake / Coverdale, Thunder, Burning Rain… you got it; true classic hard rock.
Many major acts in rock history ‘break through’ with their third album. Yes, the world has changed since, but surely there’s still a chance for a brilliant rock band to do it again, otherwise, what’s the point?
If there’s any justice left, Doomsday Outlaw are that band.
01 – Hard Times
02 – Over and Over
03 – Spirit That Made Me
04 – Into the Light
05 – Bring It on Home
06 – Days Since I Saw the Sun
07 – Will You Wait
08 – Break You
09 – Come My Way
10 – Were You Ever Mine
11 – Too Far Left to Fall
12 – Days Since I Saw the Sun (Acoustic Version)
Phil Poole – vocals
Steve Broughton – guitars
Indy Chanda – bass
Gavin Mills – guitars
John Willis – drums