ROXY BLUE – Roxy Blue (2019)
After many years of wait, Memphis, Tennessee-based hard rockers ROXY BLUE issue their self-titled second full-length studio album on August 9th, 2019 through Frontiers Music.
Frontman Todd Poole commented: “Roxy Blue fans can expect an explosive new album! I think the new record is definitely a different sound than the 1992 version of Roxy Blue, but not unrecognisable. The new record is much heavier, but still has some cool ballads and hints of early Roxy in there. I feel that it’s a well-balanced record.”
Sometimes albums are just released out of time, think of all the great records being made today that would have ridden high in the charts in years gone by. Roxy Blue’s 1992 debut – ‘Want Some’ was on of those albums – had it been released even a couple of years earlier it would have been enough to break them big.
But here we are 27 years later with the official follow up. Of course there have been other outings – three albums of collected demos and bits and pieces were released a few years back to tie up loose ends, but these certainly weren’t intended for official release at the time.
The temptation must have been surely to recreate the past and stick out a ‘Want Some II’? I now I would have jumped at that. But ‘Roxy Blue’ gives us something completely different instead – it’s the sound of a band who has been listening as Rock grew and changed over the past 27 years, and mot just listening but enjoying the music they heard.
As a result the album might be a jolt for fans – if ‘Want Some’ was 80s hard rock via Van Halen then this is Hard Rock with grunt and melody… and you know what? It works.
Make no mistake this time out the band is much heavier, but there are some great ballads in among the out and out rockers and for me Roxy Blue was always a band you knew could write a great ballad – here they come in the form of the wonderful ‘Collide’ which just happens to be the band’s favorite.
But there’s also the wonderful ‘How Does It Feel’ that has a touch of Collective Soul about it too.
Before we get to that though the opener ‘Silver Lining’ really lays down the game plan, a thick groove searing guitars and a scorching vocal and backed up beautifully by fellow rockers ‘Rockstar Junkie,’ a single if I ever heard one, and ‘Scream’ which keeps the fire burning.
On a well balanced record that fails to add any hint of filler it’s the ballads as I said that just shade it for me but then you hear a track like the wonderful, pounding ‘Til the Well Runs Dry’ and the heavier numbers swing back into contention.
This is an album to enjoy from end to end and it’s rare these days that you can say that. It might not be ‘Want Some Mark II’ but what it is is one of the best modern hard rock records you’ll hear all year.
01 – Silver Lining
02 – Rockstar Junkie
03 – Scream
04 – Collide
05 – Outta the Blue
06 – Blinders
07 – Til the Well Runs Dry
08 – Human Race
09 – How Does It Feel
10 – What It’s Like
11 – Overdrive
Todd Poole – Vocals
Scott Trammell – Drums
Josh Weil – Bass
Jeffrey Wade Caughron – Guitar