It’s no secret that Rock, and particularly bluesy rock, is enjoying a stunning renaissance at this moment in time. Since 2016, many new bands have emerged, particularly within the UK, that are taking the genre to new levels. There are also a healthy batch of older, more experienced heads who are taking the youth along with them.
This all makes it very exciting for bands like Doomsday Outlaw (DO), one of the East Midlands finest exports of recent times.
Hailing from Derby, the quintet, consisting of Phil Poole (Vocals), Gav Mills and Steve Broughton (Guitars), Indy Chanda (Bass) and John “Ironfoot” Willis, are now on to their second album, looking to follow up the frankly excellent SUFFER MORE.
That debut album propelled them in to the sights of Frontiers Records, on which their follow up HARD TIMES is released. SUFFER MORE dripped with an almost palpable arrogance (in a good way). It was oozing with quality riffs, tasteful drumming and driving bass parts and in Mr Poole, they have a frontman in possession of a killer set of pipes. Part crooner, part Chris Cornell, Poole is the element that makes Doomsday Outlaw stand out from the crowd.
So, how did they do on the often awkward 2nd album?
Well…They did well. Very well.
The opening 3 tracks give you a good sense of where MOST of this album is heading. ‘Hard Times’, ‘Over and Over’ and first single ‘Spirit That Made Me’ flow very well in to one another. All three are filled with Southern inspired, blues heavy, chunky riffs, backed up by thudding drums and solid bass from Willis and Chanda. Pooles vocals sit eloquently over the top of all of this good work and it’s obvious from the offset that the 5 piece are confident songwriters, playing to their strengths.
Then, out of nowhere, comes a complete curve ball in fourth track ‘Into the Light’. Piano led, strings in the background and just frontman Poole crooning over the top. Some will potentially argue that this track comes a little early in the collection, but I would disagree with that. It’s a good break at this point and a chance for Doomsday to show that they’re capable of much more than riffs, riffs, riffs.
‘Bring It On Home’ and ‘Days Since I Saw The Sun’ are in a more straight up rock mould than the first few tracks, again demonstrating their confidence and versatility in their song writing. The latter having a good catchy hook in the chorus, which stays with you once the song has finished.
Most bands save their best track until last. Bucking that trend, Doomsday Outlaw have stuck their best track (across both albums) in the middle of this album. ‘Will You Wait’ is a haunting and powerful ballad, full of soulful, Myles Kennedy-esque vocals, tasteful and powerful guitar work and a huge chorus. This is their ‘Nothing Else Matters’. It is a blinding track. The best on the album by a distance.
‘Break You’ comes with a good old dose of Southern Rock, drawing inspiration from The Cadillac Three it seems. There’s clever use of guitar effects and (unless my ears are deceiving me) a bit of keys in this track. This track really show’s DO’s versatility.
‘Come My Way’ opens up with some big open chords and driving drums and bass from Willis and Chanda, before giving out into a riff driven chorus, ‘Were you Ever Mine’ is a mid tempo rocker with some classy riffs and closer ‘Too Far Left to Fall’ contains the biggest riff of the album. If Joe Bonamassa had written it, people would be falling all over it.
I have, for a long time, been banging the drum of the UK’s up and coming rock bands. I am a staunch believer that it’s time the old guard called it quits and went off to their mansions to look at who they have inspired and what they have helped create in this “new wave of classic rock”.
To paraphrase a well-known fantasy TV programme…”You can live in the new world, or die in the old”. Doomsday Outlaw are at the forefront of the new world. It’s high time everyone else followed them.
Website – https://www.doomsdayoutlaw.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DoomsdayOutlaw/
‘Hard Times’ Track List:
Over and Over
Spirit That Made Me
Into The Light
Bring it on Home
Days Since I Saw The Sun
Will You Wait
Come My Way
Were You Ever Mine
Too Far Left To Fall